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Massena Central School to switch to digital voting machines

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MASSENA - The lever-style voting machines used for school board votes and elections will be history after this year in the Massena Central School District.

The district’s board of education voted Thursday night to replace them with digital voting machines that would be rented from the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections.

Interim Superintendent William H. Flynn said they will be paying about $1,065 more with the change. The total cost for the new machines would be $2,014,while the current cost for voting day is $949.

He said they would need two digital voting machines that would handle 1,000 to 1,500 voters, four certified election inspectors and 2,000 ballots on the day of the vote.

With the new machines, the cost would be $100 to program the two machines, $100 to test them, $25 for supplies, $300 for election day support including pick-up and delivery by the county and $960 for approximately 2,000 ballots at 48 cents each.

They would also need four to six privacy boards at a cost of $10 each, or $60 total; $99 for a chief election inspector; $270 for three certified election inspectors at $90 each; and $100 for dinner and refreshments for inspectors.

“We would need four certified election inspectors. We do reduce the expense on the election inspectors. We need to order paper ballots to actually mark. There are minor some expenses to all that,” Mr. Flynn said.

While it doesn’t cost the district anything for their current machines since they own them, they do pay $25 for supplies, $125 for dinner and refreshments, $549 for six election inspectors and $250 for machine calibration.

He said the older lever-type machines are becoming obsolete and will no longer be able to be repaired, making the move to the newer machines necessary.

The other option, without either the older or newer machines, would be paper ballots that would have to be counted by hand,” Mr. Flynn said.

District Clerk Candace Prairie said the county would be responsible for delivery and pick-up of the new machines.

She also noted that county officials would be responsible if there was a “contentious budget vote” and that the data would be secured for review.

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