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Deschutes County Receives Elections Grant

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County will receive an Elections Modernization Grant from the state approved Monday by County Commissioners. 

"They've offered us $15,000," County Clerk Steve Dennison told Commissioners Monday, "It's to be spent on things such as updating voting machines, purhcasing ballot dropboxes, video surveillance and things like that."

Dennison says the local allocation will be used for new equipment, "Aditional dropboxes as spares, and as we're rolling out new dropbox locations. And then, an ADA-compliant voting device, where a voter can vote unassisted ona  compliant terminal that is associated with our current voting system." He told Commissioners the current terminal used by people with disabilities was a hand-me-down from the state, is outdated and is not compatable with the county's ballot counting system. 

He admits he requested an amount on the low end of what was available, "Each county got a minimum of $15,000. So, some counties had a more dire need for things like - to replace their entire voting system, which we did just five years ago."

The new equipment will not be in place for the May 17 primary. Dennison says the money isn't available until July. 

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