Benton County’s election commissioners favor staying with the company that now provides electronic voting machines to the state, saying it appears best suited to meet the county’s needs. Arkansas is looking at replacing voting machines and systems now in use as they approach the end of their 10-year life span. The state uses voting machines and equipment from Election Systems & Software, one of three companies vying for Arkansas’ business. A measure to appropriate $30 million for new voting equipment is pending in the state Legislature. Counties could receive new equipment this summer if funding is approved, said Kim Dennison, the county’s election coordinator. The commissioners have attended demonstrations of new voting systems by ES&S and by Unisyn Voting Solutions. A presentation by Hart Intercivic, the third company, is set for 9 a.m. today at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville.
Russ Anzalone, commission chairman, reviewed the information presented by the first two companies and asked the commission and election staff for input. ES&S unanimously was favored as the vendor that should receive Benton County’s recommendation. The decision on which system to use will be made by the secretary of state’s office along with the state Board of Election Commissions.
“They know how we operate in Arkansas,” commissioner Mike Sevak said, referring to ES&S.
Dennison provided the commission with a spreadsheet that showed expected costs from ES&S and Unisyn for the new equipment Benton County needs. The cost of the ES&S voting machines, ballot counting machines and other equipment came to about $1.8 million. The cost of the Unisyn voting machines and equipment would be about $1.1 million.
Full Article: Benton County officials eye new voting machines | NWADG.