More than 60% of the cost of buying new optical scan machines for voters in Marinette County will be covered by CARES funding. The County began pursuing the purchase months ago, but has since discovered that individual municipalities within the county can transfer any unspent Routes to Recovery funds to the County to help offset the cost. To date, municipalities have committed around $130000 for the 26 machines, which carry a total price tag of just under $200000. Marinette County Clerk Kathy Brandt says the new machines will move away from the touch screen method and instead process physical paper ballots submitted both by in-person and absentee voters.
Marinette County was able to secure a significant discount on the new voting machines by buying them in bulk with 29 other counties. Municipalities still have just over a week to commit any unspent Routes to Recovery funds to the County for the purchase, but the County Board has already approved transferring up to $212000 from their contingency fund to cover any gap between the Routes to Recovery money received and the full ticket price.