North Dakota will see an upgrade in its voting system.
The Legislature approved $12 million for a new system. Jaeger says $3 million of that comes from federal funds.
"We already had the bid in place for the voting system," said North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger. "So now that we have the funding, and the Legislature passed that part of the bill with an emergency clause, the funding is available now."
Jaeger said an executive steering committee will start the procurement process for the new system.
The old system dates back to the early 2000s – and the software is no longer supported. Jaeger said he commends the county auditors for keeping the system going.
"In the last several election cycles, they've been borrowing pieces to make sure the machines work," Jaeger said. "Fortunately, we haven't had any problems, which is really good."
Jaeger said the new system will be digital – but the state will continue to use a paper ballot. He said the most noticeable change will be for voters with special needs, but most voters won’t notice a lot that’s different.
"The voters are going to come, and they will see the regular ballot," Jaeger said. "They will put the ballot into a scanner, just like they do now."
A major change for election officials is to have an “electronic poll book” available in all 53 counties.
"There's insurance against double-voting," Jaeger said. "As soon as you are entered into the system, it will block you out of going to other polling places in the state and voting."