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New suburban voting machines unveiled Tuesday ahead of April test run

Karen Yarbrough next to one of the new machines. | Mitch Dudek for the Sun-Times

Cook County’s new voting machines were unveiled on Tuesday.

The machines will be tested out in several suburban during the April 2 elections to see if there are any issues with the technology that will need to be addressed before a wider suburban rollout ahead of the nation’s 2020 presidential primary.

The machines — which feature touch screens that operate similarly to iPads — are meant to replace ones that are about a decade old and are becoming increasingly hard to fix, a spokesman for Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough said.

The new voting machines — showcased Tuesday in the basement of the county building in the Loop — print completed ballots, offering voters a chance to review their selections before entering them into a scanning machine that records the information.

The new devices will be used next week in Oak Park, River Forest and various suburban municipalities that make up Proviso Township.

The machines represent a portion of a larger order that was made by Yarbrough’s predecessor, David Orr, for 4,450 touch screen machines and 1,800 scanners for a price tag of about $29 million.

Yarbrough’s office oversees suburban elections. Chicago has a separate election authority.