While they initially budgeted $225000 for the purchase, Marinette County could end up paying for just a fraction of the total cost to upgrade their voting machines. The new machines were identified as a need following an influx of absentee voting this year and the inability to process those ballots with the existing equipment. Each optical scan machine was estimated to cost around $10000, but Marinette County was able to obtain a discounted rate, bringing the total down to around $213000. Now, Marinette County Administrator John Lefebvre reports CARES Act funding provided to individual municipalities could offset that cost even further.

Lefebvre says the exact amount they’ll receive in transfers from municipalities isn’t known yet, but he’s hopeful it could cover as much as half of the cost of the new voting machines. The Administrative Committee Thursday voted to recommend the County Board authorize the use of up to $213000 from the 2020 contingency fund for the voting machines and any unspent portion of that would be reappropriated once the CARES funding is finalized.