The North Adams City Council approved the use of five new optical scanner voting machines as part of it's meeting Tuesday night. According to iBerkshires.com, the transfer of $32,000 in funds for the purchase was passed two weeks ago. The city will be upgrading from the Accuvote machines to the new Imagecast Precinct machines, both of which are offered through LHS Associates of Salem, N.H.

The new machines are needed because the current machines, purchased back in 2007, could freeze up because the clock chips that drive them are no longer manufactured. If there were any issues with the machines, they would simply fail to work because the parts to replace them are not available anymore. The new machines still use paper ballots to count the ballots.

City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau told the council the Imagecast voting machines have a lifespan of 20 years and are being used in more than 100 Massachusetts communities. Since North Adams and a number of surrounding communities are buying the machines together, the company is giving a discount. Gomeau also commented,

"The biggest advantage is the clerks will all be working together, helping each other"