County upgrading election security, adding educational videos concerning voting process

County Clerk Ann Torpy stands alongside a voting machine that will inlcude a device (on the right side) known as a Voter Verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), which creates a paper trail for election officials. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Kosciusko County will use some $460,000 from the state of Indiana to improve election security and election education in the coming months.

The money comes from the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office, according to County Clerk Ann Torpy.

Much of the money is being used to buy new devices known as a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), which will be outfitted on every voting machine in the county.

The device creates a paper copy of the selections made that can be previewed by the voter before officially casting a ballot.

The voter does not get a paper copy. Instead it is stored in the voting machine.

“They have an opportunity to review it and then cast their vote. The ballot scrolls back into the machine, secured away so that the next voter isn’t able to see the ballot,” Torpy said.

The new technology includes an internal QR code and will simplify and speed up the recount process when needed.

Switching to the new technology puts the county in compliance with new state law, Torpy told the county commissioners who were then given a chance to see the equipment Tuesday after their meeting.

The county has 220 voting machines and each device costs about $200, Torpy said.

The new upgrade will be used in the upcoming primary at all of the county’s vote centers.

The county has also agreed to spend some $20,000 on the production of videos highlighting basic election steps to help voters.

Torpy said they chose Dream On Studios, of Warsaw, to produce the promotional videos

She said the county has not yet been given the $20,000 from the secretary of state’s office for the project.