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Dec 17

Announcement: Approval for Election Equipment Contract

Posted on December 17, 2021 at 9:11 AM by Robert Watson

At the McLean County Board meeting, Thursday, December 16, the County Board approved the request for purchase (RFP) of new election equipment by the McLean County Clerk’s office.

Approval by the full county board is the final authorization necessary to execute the contract with the selected vendor, Election Systems & Software (ES&S). The contract is expected to be signed and completed by the end of 2021.

Earlier in the year, McLean County received funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for the purchase of election equipment. The proposed contract with ES&S will include ballot marking devices that will replace the 17-year-old digital touchscreens that have served McLean County voters through many elections. The contract also accounts for other election-related equipment such as ballot printers and scanners.

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael and the Election Division of her office have worked on the RFP since April 2021. Three of the four vendors approved by the Illinois State Board of Elections were considered: ES&S, Hart Intercivic, and Unisyn. The fourth approved vendor, Dominion, did not submit to the RFP.

Once the ES&S contract is executed, the Election Division will begin updating its training materials for the 500+ election judges and 50+ technical assistants who work as early voting judges and on election day. Illinois state statute dictates that election judges must be trained every two years. Training for all potential election judges will begin in February.

“The timing of receiving ARPA funds, and the ability to use these funds to buy election equipment, is really great for us” stated Michael. “This allows us to get the equipment into place and help voters become familiar with it during a non-presidential election year. There’s no doubt in my mind that voters will appreciate the updated equipment and how much it simplifies the voting process.”

Future articles will address more specifics about the equipment and additional voter education along with election videos