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Technology Quickly Outpacing Wyoming's Election Equipment

Photo by Erik (HASH) Hersman via CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

State and county officials have formed a task force to address Wyoming’s aging election equipment. Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle said it’s now ten years old and the technology has gotten behind the times.

“Technology is outdated the day you put it into effect because it moves so fast,” she said. “And a lot of the equipment we have is, you know, they’re computer scanners and readers. So we wanted to make sure we’re not behind the eight ball.”

Daigle said the challenge will be coming up with the money. It will cost the state $8 to 10 million to replace the state’s current equipment.

“That’s our big, big item right now, the funding for any equipment or changes,” said Daigle. “We purchased the equipment we have right now in the mid-2000's with the help of federal funds. And it was strictly purchased with federal funds.”

But Daigle said that federal pool of funds has already been allocated for this cycle. She said states and counties will have to come up with the money themselves. Daigle said she’s not sure that will happen by the 2018 primary election which is less than 12 months away. 

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.

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