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Board of Elections to test voting equipment Thursday

The Beaufort County Board of Elections will conduct a simulated election to test Election Systems and Software’s voting equipment starting at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, at the Board of Elections office, which is located at 1308 Highland Drive, Suite 104.

Simulated elections can take approximately two to four hours to complete. The entire process is open to the public. Observers can enter at any point during the test.  The Board of Elections will meet at 5 p.m. to approve the simulated election.

The simulated election is a mandatory part of the county’s process of seeking new voting equipment. The county’s current voting system has been in use since 2006 and has exceeded its life expectancy, which is why the Board of Elections is seeking a replacement.

The Board of Elections and members of the public already witnessed demonstrations of two different systems. Hart InterCivic presented its system on April 21, and Elections Systems and Software presented its system on April 27. In seeking new voting equipment, boards of elections are legally required to see demonstrations of two voting systems, and one of them must be a certified voting system that isn’t currently used by the county.

After those demonstrations, the Board of Elections made Elections Systems and Software’s equipment its preliminary choice for its new voting system. Following the simulated election, the elections board will decide whether it wants to present a final recommendation to the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners can then approve or deny the purchase.