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City of McAllen approves $185,000 purchase of new voting machines

The city of McAllen will now host their own elections as the McAllen City Commission unanimously voted to purchase voting machines on Monday, Nov. 13.

The city of McAllen will now host their own elections after the McAllen City Commission unanimously voted to purchase voting machines on Monday, Nov. 13.

Prior to the purchase, McAllen would lease voting machines through Hidalgo County, but with the $185,000 purchase-- which includes machines, software and other equipment-- McAllen will now be able to have independent elections.

District 3 City Commissioner Omar Quintanilla says the decision is not only cost efficient for the city, but also an opportunity for the city to be flexible with elections.

"It gives us the ability to understand or place the equipment in areas that we feel is best suited for our community,” Quintanilla said.

Due to the resignation of District 1 City Commissioner Richard Cortez, the city will host special elections this coming January-- the first time McAllen will use machines of their own.

City Secretary Perla Lara says the voting machines are expected to arrive on Nov. 27 and training for elections will take place shortly after.

“On December 4, we'll have the SNS team come over,” said Lara. “We'll open them and test them right then and there and make sure they operate.”

If Hidalgo County and the city of McAllen hold elections at the same time, voters will have to go to two different polling locations.

On Jan. 20, McAllen will have polls at Gonzalez Elementary for the Hidalgo County District Judge Special Election. Early voting will be from Jan. 3-16.

Correction: This article incorrectly stated the position held by Richard Cortez. By announcing his candidacy for county judge, Cortez resigned from the District 1 seat on the McAllen City Commission.

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