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City election officials working to improve electonic voting

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – City of St. Louis elections officials say they are working now to iron out problems with new electronic voting machines before the August primary.

The city used the new touch screen machines and optical scan ballots last month and found that while they performed fine some election judges had trouble with the new technology, leading to delays in getting election results.

Republican elections director Scott Leiendecker says they are already holding training sessions with the poll workers to make sure things run smoothly in August.

"Really education, education, education. That's the big thing, is training these folks, these judges to understand the system," Leiendecker says "We did a lot of very good things, we did a lot of things that we're changing up for the next election. We're going to get better and better. I feel that August you're going to see a great improvement."

St. Louis County election officials, meanwhile, plan to try out their new voting machines in a supplemental election next month.

TASK FORCE

Meanwhile, election officials in the bi-state region have formed a new task force to fight voter fraud and improve communication.

The group consists of several city and county election agencies, including St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, Madison and St. Clair Counties. During the task force's first meeting, officials learned that they have several issues in common, according to Leiendecker.

"We want to crack down on that and definitely Illinois does too. They're very committed behind it and we want to make sure that we're doing our part and not just turning the information over but being proactive in the process, to make sure that the prosecutors know we want this to be a top priority, and all the way to the judicial system we're trying to make it a top priority."

Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida says he's surprised the various election officials haven't worked together before. The group's next meeting will be held in June.

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