Colorado is about to take a major step toward overhauling its voting equipment. This week a panel will recommend one or more electronic systems for the state to adopt.
Counties currently use a patchwork of different voting systems. Secretary of State Wayne Williams said many of those haven’t been updated in more than a decade.
"Do you still use the same phone as you used 15 years ago? Do you use the same computer as you used 15 ago?" he said.
Williams says older voting technology is less reliable and secure than what’s on the market now. And having counties using a lot of different systems makes it hard for them to share expertise.
Williams estimates the total statewide cost will range from $5 million to $20 million. But he says having the whole state using the same technology will help.
"If as a state we are able to negotiate a contract, we’re able in many cases to get a better price than an individual county that just needs to buy one or two machines," he said.
As part of the selection process, 10 counties tried out possible new systems during last month’s election. The panel is now reviewing their experiences and will pick one or two to recommend to Williams later this week. His final decision is expected before the end of the year.
The goal is to have the first counties using the new equipment in time for the 2016 primary, with the entire state making the transition over the next few years.