New voting system to be tested at County commission

A new voting system was approved for use by the Blount County commission and should be operational soon.

Blount County Finance director Dave Bennett said commissioners approved the voting system on Dec. 22. “It’s in addition to the system we’ve got which makes voting done by a remote control - yes, no or abstain - and the commissioners will vote by that. We can get a 30-day free trial. They voted to order this 30-day free trial,” he said.

Two screens are used, one situated facing the commissioners and one facing the audience on the wall behind the commissioners. “It will replace the roll call voting with an electronic voting system,” Bennett said.

Bennett said it will make it easier on the clerk. “People just hit the button and once the vote is over it’s shown on the screen,” he said of the system that costs $6,300.

Commission Chair Steve Samples said no commitment has been made to purchase the equipment yet. “We’re bringing it in on a trial,” he said.

Samples said the apparatus will simplify the voting process. “Everyone will be able to vote at the same time, and everything will be displayed on large screens so everybody will be able to see how everyone is voting,” he said.

Samples said this commission actually considered buying similar equipment in 2000 when the county was renovating the commission room but had to eliminate it because of cost. “Since that time we’ve been able to locate a less expensive wireless system and we’re simply bringing it in to take a look at it,” he said.

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