MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thursday’s election is the last election Shelby County voters will use the current voting machines.
Elections administrator Linda Phillips gives WREG a firsthand look at the new machines Shelby County voters will be using moving forward.
“The biggest difference is that there is a paper trail,” Phillips said. “Whether the voter chooses to vote on the ballot marking device or that they choose to hand mark a paper, there is a paper record.”
After years of debate, Shelby County commissioners voted to allocate $5.8 million to fund the new system back in June.
It’s a win Phillips has spent years fighting for.
“These machines [current] you have to set up, you have to fold them, you have to get the legs in the right position,” Phillips. “The new machines really literally they’re on carts. All they have to do is plug in one plug, open each one, press a button, and lock them back up, and they’re ready to go.”
Phillips says the machines have been tested at all 26 early voting locations and the response has been positive.
“Voters loved them our poll workers loved them. So, we’re really excited about moving forward,” Phillips said.
Phillips says the machines are not only faster but more accurate and efficient. She says they are expecting to have 1,100 ballot marking devices and 220 scanners by the next election.
“We’re actually not anticipating a lot of issues there because these are so much easier,” Phillips said.
Phillips says after the current election, the old machines will be taken to storage and eventually destroyed.
Phillips says they will host education opportunities leading up to the November election to make sure everyone is comfortable using the new machines.