Grayson County Elections Administrator Deanna Patterson is opening the doors of the Elections Office in September to allow elected officials to preview the new voting equipment.
Patterson invited Grayson County Commissioners personally to the event which is slated for 9-11 a.m. Sept. 26 at her office at 115 W. Houston in Sherman. Then, the public will be invited to see the equipment through the middle of October.
She said the new equipment has been delivered and her staff and some of the county's Information Technology staff have all been trained on the equipment.
Now, she said, she is preparing for elections workers training which will be ongoing in September.
“The new equipment will be ready for use in the November 2019 election,” Patterson said.
Back in April, county commissioners approved Patterson's request to spend $1,287,234 for 250 ballot card markers and 40 scanners. That price tag did not include $209,490 for maintenance, $120,390 for hardware maintenance, $26,025 for the software license maintenance and support, or $63,075 for the firmware license and maintenance.
Still, Patterson said, the price is a good one when one considers the equipment could last 15 years or more. The machines that the county just trade in, she said, had a good shelf life for the county who received $147,100 in trade for its old IVotronic machines.
Patterson said there are still some things that have to worked out with regard to the new machines. For one thing, she said, there is more to be set up at each election site than before with the scanners and everything so it is going to take a bigger truck to deliver the voting equipment. However, she said, they are already working on addressing that issue.
Once the press and elected officials have had a chance to look at the new machines, Patterson said, she wants to give the general public a chance to come in and try them out.
“From September 26 through October 17th we'll have the equipment set up in our lobby for the general public to preview,” Patterson said.
She said demonstrations will be available during that time.
Patterson said that the only change in the election day sites for the November 2019 election deals with the east side of Sherman. What was East Side Baptist Church on King Street is moving its congregation. That location will not be open to voting in the November election. She said she will find a replacement site before the next election.
Commissioners also approved joint election agreements with the cities of Gunter, Sherman, and Denison Independent School District.