Gallatin County to spend $83,000 on third vote tabulating machine

BOZEMAN- How fast can Gallatin County count your vote?

Well, the answer just became a lot faster. The county just approved the purchase of a third vote tabulating machine.

This third machine will be a refurbished machine, its an ESS DS850.

Usually, they cost over $100,000 but this one will run the taxpayers $83,000. The growth of the county is what inspired the purchase.

Last November they worked until the following day counting ballots, the purchase of this machine derived from the ability to continue to be efficient.

“We have a backup in case one machine breaks down,” Eric Semerad County Clerk and Recorder for Gallatin County said, “you know counting 50,000 ballots with one machine takes quite a bit of time, so now we know we would have two with at least the third machine should one breakdown.”

There was a bill, SB0162 that just recently passed in the 66th session that Governor Steve Bullock signed that allows ballots to begin being processed earlier and with the purchase of this machine they hope exact numbers can be released earlier.

Semerad added that on a security front none of these machines hook up to the internet or have internet capability and they’re all programmed through USBS making them secure.    

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