The Terry County Commissioners approved the purchase of new voting equipment for the Terry County Elections Office. The current equipment is many years old and purchasing replacement parts for the system is almost impossible.
The new system from, ES&S, will cost the county roughly $160,000. However, $120,000 will be paid for through grant money secured by the Elections Office.
The new system will cut polling places down to only four, with one in each precinct. Terry County voters will be able to vote at any of the four locations. Voters will no longer have to vote at the polling place in their precinct. It is hoped that this will make it more convenient for voters.
Matt Kuntz of ES&S, stated, “We have been using these machines in many area counties. They have found that the ballot cost is less, voters are liking it, and there will still be a paper ballot in case hand counting is needed.”
Also, you can correct your ballot if you have marked the wrong candidate prior to submitting your vote. Elections Office Coordinator Krystal Valentine stated, “We have been worried about our old system for some time. It is the one that was in use even before Kim Carter became County Clerk, so it is a constant worry. We feel that this system will be easy for the voter to use and will ultimately save the county time and money.”
As this is an item that was not budgeted, ES&S has agreed to work with the County on possibly deferring some of the cost until next budget year.
In other business, the Commissioners discussed the purchasing of accident re-enactment mapping equipment for the Texas Department of Public Safety local office. When the DPS worked the last accident in Terry County on Highway 62/82, it took nearly four hours and there were a couple of close calls with 18-wheelers and the DPS officers. The new equipment would decrease the time to assess an accident scene to approximately 45 minutes.
As the local DPS office serves Yoakum, Lynn, and Hockely, as well as Terry, the Commissioners asked if perhaps the other counties might also help with the $5,616 cost of the new equipment. The item was tabled for now until more information could be gathered.
In other business, Allied was approved as the drug and alcohol testing company for the County.
Also approved was the Cybersecurity Training, which is required. Texas Association of Counties will provide this training.
The Commissioners did vote to allow the Sheriff’s office to advertise for bids for two new department pickups to replace two older models. Also approved was an application for Soil Conservation work in Precinct 1.