6 metro counties to get new and improved voting machines

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Six of the Twin Cities' metro counties will get new voting machines before the fall election season heats up.

Fox 9 news says the counties will be replacing 13-year-old optic scan machines that Ramsey County's election manager says were "reliable and accurate."

Nevertheless, the new machines will process ballots like the old ones do, with a major difference being a digital screen that lets voters know if there has been an error with the ballot, according to Fox 9.

The station also says the machines are better equipped for absentee voting, which is growing in popularity in the state.

The Star Tribune notes that of the seven metro-area counties, only Carver will be left out of the fun.

Ballots cast by Minneapolis residents will be fed into the machines during the mayoral election in November, the paper notes, which will be another test due to the city's ranked-choice voting.

The Strib also says absentee voting is likely to increase by 50 percent this season. Hennepin County was the first to buy in, the paper reports, with $4.1 million for 550 precinct machines and four central ones. Anoka County follows with $1.5 million for 140 precinct ballot counters and one central counter.

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