Voting equipment takes a toll on elections

News

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – When it comes to voting for visually impaired people, it’s not going as smoothly as they’d like.

Just a heads up, all of the ballots you’ll see in this story are just sample test ballots.

More than 8,000 absentee ballots, that’s how many Meridian Township is expecting this upcoming Election Day, but when it comes to counting them, there’s few problems.

From absentee ballots getting stuck in machines, to blind voters not being able to work the equipment, these are a just a few issues that Meridian Township faces when it comes to voting.

“These are things that cost time, and at the end of the day cause delays in election results getting reported,” said Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus.

Dreyfus says he’s going to work on upgrading their equipment to fix the absentee ballot problem.

“It’s very important that we process absentee ballots using the best equipment, highest speeds in the most efficient matter possible,” said Dreyfus.

But as for the blind voting issue, it’s out of his hands, being that the state gives few options on which equipment each district can use.

Fred and Mary Wurtzel are both blind voters here in Michigan and say this is a right everyone should have.

“Voters should be the top priority, everybody should be able to vote,” said Fred Wurtzel.

But it’s not as easy for them, being that the equipment is hard to use.

“I think that blind people are first class citizens, and not being able to vote puts us as second class citizens and that’s wrong,” said Wurtzel.

Donna Rose, with the Capital Area Council of the Blind, agrees with the Wurtzel’s and wants to see a change.

“It’s the most important right that we have in this country and so many people take it for granted,” said Rose.

But despite these issues, Dreyfus doesn’t want it to stop anyone from going out to vote.

“We’re going to ensure that everybody can vote, and that everybody’s vote counts one way or another,” said Dreyfus.

With the November election only a couple months away, Dreyfus says he’s going to work hard to make sure all problems are solved.

6 News did reach out to Secretary of State officials for comment who say the machines used are for all physically challenged people, and not just the visually impaired.

But they are accepting feedback and say they’re looking forward to working with their vendors to fix the equipment.

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