Redwood County is going to be getting some new equipment intended to upgrade the way its elections are conducted.
Through a grant from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, funds will come to the Office of the Redwood County Auditor-Treasurer in the amount of $79,894.60, which will be used to offer ballot tabulators and electronic rosters for each polling place in the county.
According to Jean Price, county auditor-treasurer, there are 17 polling places in the county, with most of those polling places including more than one precinct.
Each polling place will receive an allocation of the funding for the purchase of upgraded equipment Price said should help to improve the election process.
In addition to the funds from the State of Minnesota, the county must also provide matching funds, with a 50 percent match for the tabulators and a 25 percent match for the electronic rosters, with a total amount of $60,603,20 being in-vested in the equipment by the county.
Price said her office has been setting aside funds over the past several years to help cover the costs of the new equipment.
Price added the electronic rosters that are being purchased will help to meet a new Minnesota law that requires election judges to conceal the names of those on each precinct roster that will have challenges to its ability to vote.
She said while not all of the precincts have opted to receive an electronic roster, those precincts will have to find a way to prevent others from seeing that information on the traditional paper rosters voters are required to sign when they come to vote.
The Redwood County Board of Commissioners approved the grant agreement for the equipment.
In other action during its meeting, the county board:
• Appointed Kelly Pfarr as an at-large member of the Red-wood County Extension committee for a three-year term.
• Recognized Mark Farasyn of the Redwood County Sheriff’s Department for 25 years of service.
• Approved the employment of Susan Minkel, who will work in the restorative justice program.
• Accepted the resignation of David Palmer from his role with the maintenance department.
• Awarded the waste removal bid for the county’s buildings, which includes five dumpsters, to Waste Management at $193.30 per month.
• Held a brief discussion regarding the Redwood County courthouse building. After announcing at its Feb. 6 meeting that it was considering the demolition of the courthouse, commissioners said they have heard very little negative feedback from constituents regarding that idea.
Many of those they spoke with indicated they were not interested in the county investing more money into the building. The board’s building committee will now meet with an architect to talk about costs to move forward with the idea.