Monroe County To Vote On Buying Election Equipment Monday

The Monroe County Commissioners are charged with finding the best electronic election equipment with a limited budget.

Voting center

Photo: Carmen Huff/WFIU News

During the November elections, Monroe County election results were delayed two days because it did not have electronic voting equipment.

The Monroe County commissioners have postponed a vote on purchasing 2012 voting equipment until Monday because of an Election Board vote that rejected a proposal for vote centers.

Commissioner Iris Kiesling says they needed more time to decide what equipment would give them the best deal for their money.

“Now that we have to provide service to eighty-two precincts, although some of those might be co-located, we have to look at our numbers and see what the best proposal is that we have before us,” she says.

Kiesling quoted a Financial Policy Institute report released last year that said vote center elections would cost Monroe County nearly $87,000. Precinct elections would cost $161,000. That does not include the 15 new precincts that will be added this year. County Clerk Linda Robbins, who voted in favor of the vote centers, says the higher cost is why finding the voting equipment could be difficult.

“This is the commissioners challenge at this point in time is to see how they can be the most frugal in this time because we just don’t have the money to spend,” she says.

Robbins says she is doing all she can to make sure next year’s elections run smoothly. She says she wants to prevent a repeat of this November’s election when the county was forced to go without electronic voting equipment, resulting in a two-day delay of the final results. She says there are still some hurdles ahead.

“It’s going to be a year of changes, and it would have been whether we had voting centers or not, but  this is going to be a little more difficult I believe for voters to get under their hat,” she says.

Robbins says many voters will have to change precincts, so they should keep an eye out for notification of their voting location after January 20. The first priority, she says, should be purchasing the new equipment.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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  • Guest

    Mon­roe County com­mis­sion­ers …are on right track!

    “…to see how they can be the most fru­gal in this time because we justdon’t have the money to spend…”

    And the comis­sion­ers need to stay on the right track.…by keep­ing thecit­i­zens “Full Vot­ing Rights” as their prime goal.

    From the vot­ers rights point of view paper bal­lots should be used andhand counted…this will yeild a near 100% con­fi­dence to the vot­ers of theaccu­racy of the vote count. Machine count in fact give the voter a 0%con­fi­dence of the vote count accu­racy. (But, machine count con­fi­dencecan move up to near 100%…if, a paper hand count is done right after theclos­ing count is done on elec­tion night.)

    Thanks and Good Luck,
    Frank Henry
    e-mail:  fmhenry4@netzero.com

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