Friday, January 25, 2008

County Still Looking At Voting Machine Options
By Peter Becker
Wayne Independent
Fri Jan 25, 2008, 10:17 AM EST
A decision has not yet been made concerning the replacement of the touch-screen electronic voting machines, which were decertified by the state last autumn prior to the General Election.

In response to media questioning at Tuesday’s Wayne County Commissioners’ meeting, Commissioner Anthony Herzog stated they are considering keeping the paper ballot method which was employed November 5th.

Chairman Brian Smith added, “It may be the only cost effective means.” Commissioner Wendall Kay stressed that foremost in their decision will be a system that is both reliable and verifiable. Secondly, they must look hard at the financial costs.

Herzog reminded that the machines they looked at during a recent vendor fair would cost the county $300 to $650 thousand The state has only offered to reimburse the county $293,000 to replace the decertified machines...

Wayne considering leasing machines for April primary

...Ms. Furman said a new voting system could cost the county between $500,000 and $650,000. Mr. Smith said that estimate could be as high as $790,000, not counting additional costs for a paper trail. County officials are still unsure of the source of the additional money for a new voting system.

Officials are also concerned about choosing between systems with a touch screen or a paper ballot trail, worrying the county could be left with another decertified system if the state or federal government revises its mandates.

“There seems to be a lot of things up in the air,” Mr. Smith said. “Nobody wants to get ... burned here for a lot of money.”

Purchasing a new voting system is not just a matter of having the machines in place by April 22. Ms. Furman said the county also needs to train voters and poll workers on using the machines.

“There seems to be so much chaos in this decision,” Mr. Smith said.

With time running out, Mr. Smith said leasing machines again is a possibility, though not the county’s official plan at this point. Ms. Furman said some of the vendors have offered the county lease-to-own options with their systems. In November, the county leased eight optical scan machines from Texas-based Hart InterCivic for about $53,000.

Replacing Wayne County's Voting Machines Could Cost $500,000-$650,000
By Tammy Compton
Wayne Independent
Tue Jan 22, 2008, 06:16 PM EST

By still using optic scanners, Furman said, “We could have what they call central count. They bring all the ballots back, like they did last November, and we put them in the machine and read them here. Those machines we would purchase would be larger capacity, that they can read several thousand within an hour and we’d have the results in a much timelier fashion than last November.”

For someone visually impaired and not able to mark a paper ballot, Furman says they would still need, “such as a DRE where they can actually listen to the ballot and do a touch screen and do it on their own.”

Wayne’s new voting machines will be expensive
Brian Hineline 24.JAN.08
The price of voting in Wayne County is about to go up.

The state Department of State has agreed to reimburse the county $293,582 to cover money that was spent more than two years ago on electronic voting machines the agency has decertified. However, county officials have determined that new equipment will cost much more than that.

”It’s a complicated decision,” said Commissioner Brian Smith on Tuesday. “We have quotes that range anywhere from $500,000 to $650,000. That’s the problem.”

”The county is trying to decide what our best option will be. We don’t want to make the wrong decision,” added Director of Elections Cindy Furman.

The county purchased 100 electronic voting machines from Advanced Voting Solutions in 2005 for $293,582. The machines were used in the May 2006 primary, but could not be used after that due to the discovery of a software problem. The glitch involved races where voters chose several candidates, and those candidates cross-filed, such as school board elections. The machines were allowing voters to cast both a Republican and Democratic vote for the same candidate. Because these races were not part of the primary election, the software glitch did not affect the results of that election, according to Mrs. Furman.

Vendor Fair

No "perfect" voting solution for county

Wayne County, PA Leasing Hart eScans
by By Megan Reiter, Staff Writer, Times-Tribune

published 09/26/2007

read original news story

Wayne County Leasing Scanners for Election

HONESDALE - Wayne County will not be using its 100 Advanced Voting Solutions' WINvote touch-screen machines in the Nov. 6 election - but workers will not have to hand-count ballots, either.

The county plans to lease eight optical scan machines from Texas-based Hart InterCivic at an estimated cost of $53,000, said Cindy Furman, the county's director of elections.

The county Board of Elections voted last week to tentatively approve printing paper ballots, since the Department of State last month suspended the AVS machines' certification for the Nov. 6 election. Printing the ballots was expected to cost around $12,000, Ms. Furman said, and included hiring 20 to 30 people to count votes on election night...

...Each machine is expected to read 500 ballots per hour, Ms. Furman said, adding that the county is hoping to get through the ballots in a four-hour window after they start coming in when the polls close.

There are about 30,000 registered voters in Wayne County, and 40 to 45 percent normally turn up at the polls during a general election, Ms. Furman said.

Voting machines approved in Northampton County
January 18th, 2008 by CindySnyder

A new voting system will greet Northampton County voters when they cast ballots in the April 22 primary.

County Council on Thursday accepted a recommendation made earlier in the day by the county Election Commission to purchase 300 electronic voting machines from Sequoia Voting Systems. The company provides the same machines in Montgomery County.

Northampton County to get new voting machines
The Associated Press

EASTON, Pa. - Northampton County will have new electronic voting machines in time for the April primary.

The election commission and county administration recommended a vendor Thursday, and county council later approved the purchase from Sequoia Voting Systems.

Northampton Co. Reverts To Older Voting Machines
EASTON, Pa. (AP) ― Northampton County officials are going back to the lever-style mechanical voting machines they used for decades.

They're not certain whether software upgrades to the county's new electronic touch-screen voting machines can be tested and certified in the 76 days before the November 6th election.

Advanced Voting Solutions makes the electronic machines.

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