Flint Township approves purchase of high-speed tabulator

FLINT TWP. — In anticipation of a hectic Nov. 3 general election, Flint Township will be adding a new high-tech tabulator to help ease the ballot-processing burden on election workers and township staff.

At Monday’s meeting, the Flint Township Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the Verity Central System, a high-speed absentee ballot scanning system manufactured by Hart Intercivic.

Flint Township Clerk Kathy Funk said that the Verity Central System can process three times the number of ballots in one minute than a standard tabulator can. She said this will eliminate the need for multiple absentee counting boards and prove to be a time-saver for her staff.

“We would only have to have one counting board, as opposed to three or four counting boards,” she said. “It would also cut down on number of people who have to be sequestered and eliminate hours of overtime spent prior to the election when we have to sort ballots.”

Funk said four to five workers are needed at the most to handle the scanning and counting process with the new tabulator. She also said that the Verity Central System will reduce election-related expenses such as set-up and tear-down costs, disinfection costs for the location used by the counting boards and food for election workers on the counting boards that are sequestered.

Altogether, the high-speed tabulator will cost $94,805, but over $50,000 of that total will be covered by grant funds that the township recently received from the Michigan Bureau of Elections and the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). Flint Township received a $30,000 grant from the Michigan Bureau of Elections and a $24,654 grant from the CTCL.

Flint Township is only one of two jurisdictions in Genesee County that received the Bureau of Elections grant to purchase the Verity Central System.

The remaining funds will be covered by a budget transfer of $10,000 from the clerk’s office and a budget amendment of around $30,000.