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Hidalgo County Approves $2.6M To Upgrade Voting Machines

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FILE - Voters cast their ballots for the general election at Victory Houston polling station, one of the Harris County's 24-hour locations, in Houston, on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Texas has become the latest state where Republicans have rolled back access to voting methods that soared in popularity during last year’s pandemic presidential election. Following similar legislation in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa and some other GOP-controlled states, Texas Republicans passed new restrictions on mail-in balloting as well as bans on 24-hour polling places and drive-thru voting. (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

Hidalgo County is moving forward with upgrades to its voting machines required under a new state law.  Under SB-598, voting machines statewide must have the ability to be audited within 24 hours after all votes are counted in an election.  The county is setting aside two-point-six-million-dollars to convert its machines, though officials say the money will be reimbursed if the conversion is completed before the 2022 general election.  The county will also need to spend an additional one-point-six-million for scanners, ballot boxes and other expenses related to the new law that will not be reimbursed.

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