Electronic voting stations approved

By Kevin Baird
CNJ staff writer
kbaird@cnjonline.com

Curry County commissioners gave the green light Tuesday for County Clerk Rosalie Riley to move forward to establish electronic Voter Convenience Centers.

“I think technology is the way to go,” Riley said about the upcoming changes to voting poll stations.

During a presentation at the county commission meeting, Ernie Marquez of Automated Election Services (which has a contract with the state to supply VCC equipment) said the VCC will use state of the art technology instead of paper ballots in the voting process. He said everything will be done electronically including signatures, which will speed up the voting process as well as save money by reducing poll workers’ hours.

“Voter apathy has been a challenge,” Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said. “If these can improve voter turnout by 2 percent or even 10 percent, it would be worth it.”

Riley said the state is providing the VCC equipment, and it will not cost the county money.

Riley said the VCC will consolidate the 40 voting precincts into 10 voting polling location. Commissioners Bobby Sandoval and Wendell Bostwick expressed concerns over long lines with voting being consolidated into 10 polling stations.

Riley said in July she observed VCC polling in Dona Ana County and the lines were not bad. After the meeting she added that she spoke about the VCC with poll workers and voters at the Dona Ana County election and received positive feedback.

Riley said she will be working with Marquez to find locations for the 10 VCC polling stations.