When voters cast ballots for the Nov. 7 special election, their votes will be counted by new equipment recently purchased by Cass County.
The Cass County Commission approved an agreement Sept. 28 with Henry M. Adkins & Son Inc., a company based out of Clinton, Mo., for 39 new Unisyn OpenElect Voting Optical Scan units.
The systems can accept, validate, and tabulate multiple ballot types, spitting out the data in a variety of reports, with “robust security” yet are designed to be compact and portable, according to the company’s website.
The county’s purchase also included ADA-compliant ballot-marking devices, which are expected to be implemented for every election by next April, according to County Clerk Michael Vinck.
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Adkins & Son had the lowest bid — not to exceed $274,179, set to be paid over a period of five years — to replace equipment that had been used for more than 20 years, Vinck said.
The county previously has used Adkins & Son to provide vote-tabulation systems equipment, hardware, software, training, and tech support.
The company already took back older equipment that was due for an upgrade.
“Just like computers and anything else, after so many years, they’re not so effective,” Vinck said. “That equipment they stopped making years ago, so any time an old machine would break down or not function right, they would just give me another one out of their stock of used equipment.”
Cass County’s election equipment serves about 70,000 registered voters.
Turnout is expected to be below 10 percent on Nov. 7 as voters living in Raymore, Peculiar, Garden City, Archie, Loch Lloyd, and Kansas City head to the polls to use the new tabulators.
Voters in Raymore will consider 16 amendments to the city charter.
New taxes are on the ballot in Garden City, Archie and Peculiar, including a sales tax of one-half of one percent for law enforcement in Peculiar.
Vinck said the recently purchased tabulators are similar to what the county has used in past election. Voters fill out their ballots and feed them into the machine for tabulation.
“It really isn’t any different,” he said. “It’s just the newest version of the same equipment we had before. It’s actually a little bit easier for our judges to set up and close down at night, which is a nice benefit.”
For more information about the Nov. 7 election, including a list of polling locations, visit the Cass County Election Authority website.
For those unable to make it to the polls Nov. 7, absentee voting continues from now until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.
Absentee voting will also be available 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 4.
Voters can request absentee ballots in person at the Cass County Election Authority’s office, 102 E. Wall St. in Harrisonville or by fax.