Livingston County’s election chairpeople received training Thursday at the John E. LaBelle Public Safety Complex in Howell. Experienced inspectors were trained Wednesday, and those working in an absentee voter counting board will be trained Monday.

Elections Coordinator Joe Bridgman says the training sessions not only prepare inspectors for the upcoming election, but also allow them to renew or achieve certification that is required every two years. Bridgman says as part of that certification, participants are extensively trained on election rules and regulations- an important piece in avoiding voter fraud. Bridgman feels Bridgman says the risk of voter fraud in Livingston County is very minimal, adding the county’s promulgated regulations go “above and beyond” the federal standards.

Thursday’s session offered hands-on training on new voting equipment that has already rolled out in Livingston County, though not all municipalities have had the opportunity to use it yet. Patricia Hughes, Deputy Clerk for Hamburg Township, says the municipality used the equipment in the 2017 November election for Precinct 4. Hughes staffed that election with other chairpeople to allow them to get acquainted with the equipment.

She tells WHMI the new equipment is much more reliable and "user-friendly", adding the machines have very clear instructions and lets a voter know that their ballot has been counted. Hughes also likes that the equipment works off of a flash drive for internal workers, as the old machines used a memory card that could lose its programming if it had an electric surge when turned on.

The upcoming primary election will take place Tuesday, August 7th. (DK)