MACOUPIN COUNTY LOOKING TO GET NEW VOTING MACHINES
County News: June 14, 2019
Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan recently asked the County Board to purchase new voting machines ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election.
“The machines we have were purchased in 2004. They were recommended for use for 8 years and they are now on their 15th year” Duncan explained. “These machines are showing their age, breaking down and no longer getting the job done. It’s time to get new machines to make sure voters have full confidence their vote will count in 2020.”
Duncan stated the current machines were developed in 1989 and asked how many people would be satisfied using a computer in their home that was originally designed in 1989? “When it comes to something as important as making sure a vote is counted and counted correctly, I don’t find it acceptable to have a machine counting that was developed before most people even had heard of the internet, email, or owned their own computer.”
Due to of the additional security concerns and certifications required by the State Board of Elections, new voting equipment does not come cheap. The plan proposed by Duncan would have the county pay for the machines over a 4 year lease and use savings after those four years to cover the down payment required in 2 more years. “I know every dollar matters when it comes to taxpayer money going to big purchases,” Duncan explained. “That’s why I proposed a plan that will cover all costs required to get these machines without adding one single penny to my budget. No one can argue we can’t afford these machines with the plan I’ve proposed.”
To cover the costs of the new machines, Duncan will use money already paying for the maintenance of the current machines, the software licensing costs, in addition to cutting some current small contracts the Election office. The plan also calls for some precincts to consolidate and use the savings from those changes to pay for the machines.
“I know some are strongly opposed to changing precincts,” Duncan said. “I understand that. But I also know that when we bought the current machines in 2004, only 1 out of 20 voters were voting before Election Day. In the 2018 General Election, 1 out of 5 voters voted before Election Day, and that number will only continue to grow. We have less voters voting at their precinct on Election Day, yet are spending the same amount of money on judges, polling places and machines as we did when many more voted at their precinct. That is not fiscally responsible, especially when we have an urgent need for new voting machines that can be paid for by reducing the number of precincts.”
Anyone interested in finding more information about the new voting machines or viewing the precinct changes are being proposed are encouraged to visit www.macoupinvotes.com/new-voting-machines/ and “like” the Macoupin County Clerk’s Office Facebook page for updates about the plan.
MACOUPIN COUNTY HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN
Each year natural hazards (i.e., severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, severe winter storms, flooding,
etc.) cause damage to property and threaten the lives and health of the residents of Macoupin
County. Since 1982, Macoupin County has had five federally-declared disasters.
In the last 10 years alone (2008 – 2017), there have been 59 thunderstorms with damaging winds, 40 severe storms with hail 1 inch in diameter or greater, 20 excessive heat events, 15 flash floods, 14 severe winter storms, 8 tornadoes, 4 mine subsidence events, 2 extreme cold events, 1 drought, 1 dam failure and 1 earthquake felt by residents in the County.
While natural hazards cannot be avoided, their impacts can be reduced through effective hazard mitigation planning. This prevention-related concept of emergency management often receives the least amount of attention, yet it is one of the most important steps in creating a hazardresistant community.
(Click the links below to view PDF documents)
MILLIONS OF RECORDED DOCUMENTS DATING BACK TO 1829 NOW ONLINE
County News: April 30, 2016 – Searching Macoupin’s recorded documents has just gotten a whole lot easier. While in the past, a search for a recorded document would have required a trip to the Recorder’s office and a laborious search through the over a thousand books holding those documents, County Clerk and Recorder Pete Duncan recently launched an online index book portal which will allow anyone to access millions of recorded documents 24/7 from their home.
The Online Index Book Portal was a year long project that now allows all of the index books and document books from the County’s founding in 1829 to 2000 to be searched online. Combined with the existing online access to the Recorder’s office from 2001 to the present, all recorded documents are now available to be searched, viewed and printed from one’s own computer.
“Every day there are numerous requests for anything from a copy of a deed to a genealogical search of who once owned a piece of property that has been in a family for decades,” Duncan said. “The Recorder's office has now found a way to provide better and more efficient service to customers and searchers by allowing them to search without traveling to the office and waiting for staff to help. It’s just another way we’ve found to provide better, smarter government to the people of Macoupin.”
Duncan also discussed that this project continues his office's efforts to preserve the County’s historical documents from the wear and tear of continued use while allowing. “The books used back in 1829 to record documents weren’t designed thinking that nearly 200 years later they’d be opened and laid flat on a copier machine. By utilizing digital access to these records, we’re helping to make sure generations will have our original records on file.”
The online index book portal can be viewed at the following link: http://macoupincountyil.gov/county_clerk_remote.htm.
There will also be an open house where anyone interested can attend and see a demonstration of how the portal works and what benefits it can provide. The open house will be held on Thursday, May 19th from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the County Board room on the second floor of the jail complex.
Click image to view Courthouse Restoration video:
Redistricting & County Board Reduction Information
Building Strong Communities
The Ben-Gil Boosters is a community-based organization comprised of parents and educators dedicated to rebuilding an elementary school for the children of CUSD #7. Learn more by visiting the Ben-Gil Boosters Website. Volunteer Macoupin!