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Palm Beach County leaders approve buying $15 million in new voting equipment

Posted at 10:44 AM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 18:44:23-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County Commissioners approved a plan Tuesday to purchase new voting equipment for more than $15 million, following the controversial November election.

Under the plan, the county will buy voter tabulation equipment, including hundreds of high speed digital scanners, ExpressVote terminals, and additional computers from Election Systems & Software, LLC. That equipment is certified by the Department of State.

The county said it would also retrofit existing equipment to meet current election demands.

"I am very confident that the new equipment is, the technology is better, the speed is faster, it can handle the volume that we need," said Wendy Sartory Link, the new Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

According to Link's office, the total cost of the equipment is $15,682,546. That's $4 million more than was budgeted for. It was determined on Tuesday the additional $4 million will come from a budget transfer.

Tuesday's vote came just weeks after former Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher formally resigned, following the 2018 election.

Bucher was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January, after her office failed to meet a recount deadline in the highly contested Governor and U.S. Senate races, as well as the race for Agriculture Commissioner.

Bucher spoke to WPTV in November about how the current voting machines malfunctioned, which caused her office to miss its recount deadline.

"As the supervisor, I take full responsibility, that’s my job," Bucher said in November. "It’s not for lack of human effort. The human effort was incredible and I thank everyone. But the fact of the matter is when there’s mechanical failures, there’s not much I can do about it."

The Governor replaced Bucher with Sartory Link, an attorney who plans to serve until 2020, but won't seek re-election.

"With the the different types of sorting that it can do, we won't have the same problem," Sartory Link said Tuesday of the new equipment.