Marion County, Arkansas, voters to see changes this election year

Published: May. 3, 2018 at 10:19 PM CDT
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Instead of having to go to a designated place to cast a ballot in the primaries, voters will be able to go to any one of eight voting centers throughout Marion County on May 22.

Suzanne Shipman, a Marion County election commissioner, said, "So if you work over in Flippin, and you get off work, you can go over to the First Baptist Church and place your vote, and then come on home. You don't have to rush home for your polling site."

Voting centers for early voting will be at three locations: the clerk's office, Bull Shoals for five days, and Lazy Acres for one day.

On top of that change, state officials recently offered to fund new voting machines, equipment and training in the county.

The machines they currently use are about 13 years old.

Shipman said, "It's just not working well. And it's just so way behind the times."

Karen Carter, a county election commissioner, said, "They don't service them anymore either."

But with the close to $200,000 in funding, that will all change when the new machines arrive.

Elaine Ryder, the chairman of the county election commission, said, "They run on a USB. The poll workers will just have to put in a USB into the machine and flip a key, and it'll be ready to go. These machines can be used for early voting as well as on election day. The machines we use now cannot be used for both times."

Marion County election commissioners say if all goes well, the primaries will be the last election they will have to use the old machines.

If you live in Marion County, you can see where you can vote here: