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County Considers Voter Equipment Upgrades

Supervisors agreed yesterday to put Tuolumne County in line to take advantage of nearly a half million dollars in state money allocated to purchase new voting equipment.

County elections clerk Tim Johnson found the supervisors a hard sell on the concept, with the board holding to the idea “if it´s not broke, don´t fix it.”

Proposition 41, passed in the state last election, has earmarked $200-million in funds for county upgrades and modernization of ballot tabulation systems and equipment.

The supervisor´s agreement Tuesday to file an application will hold a place on the state´s funds distribution list, and did, in no way, obligate the county to receive the grant funds.

To get the funding from the state, the county would have to kick-in almost $140,000. That notion didn´t set well with most of the supervisors.

“I´m going to be a hard sell when it comes to (spending)$138,000,” Supervisor Dick Pland said. Mark Thornton added that he wants Johnson to clarify the voting equipment upgrade plan if the board eventually agrees to apply for the state Voting Modernization Board grant money.

Board chair Laurie Sylwester was the only supervisor to quickly support the idea, saying she doesn´t think the county´s current voting system works well at all.

The supervisors agreed that a top priority is to purge the county´s voter rolls to get them straightened out.