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Midland County debuts new voting equipment

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Polling places across the state are ready for voters to cast their ballots.

Midland county is one of several places rolling out new voting equipment.

The Deputy Clerk of Midland County tells us the overall process will stay about the same.

But one of the biggest changes they expect to see is how quickly unofficial results come in.

“Still come in get a paper ballot go to a booth process it pretty much the same way they used to,” said John Keefer.

After the polls close, it will be a different story. John Keefer the Chief Deputy Clerk for Midland County says it's because they have new cellular modems.

“At the end of the night when they close the polls and roll the official tape after that they'll be collecting the modems and that means the county will get results a lot faster,” he said.

That's not the only change. John Keefer says the new machines can now print ballots right at the polls if they need to, which could save taxpayers money.

“That's definitely the way of the future here in Michigan we like the paper ballot as a way of justifying what happened and being able to re-create the election if we need to the fact this one makes its own ballot at the polls is very unique,” he said.

John Keefer says a lot goes into making sure the machines are ready to go before voters arrive.

“They run what’s called a test deck a public accuracy test to prove the accuracy and programming of the machine. Once that's done the program is sealed inside the test ballot bag and at that point the machines are set for the election and ready to go,” he said.

All of the work beforehand hopefully makes for a smooth day for voters.

“Just show them how easy it is and let midland county shine,” John said.

Midland County aren't the only ones using new voting equipment this election day.

Some other counties across Mid-Michigan, like Bay and Genesee counties are also using new machines.

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