A three-year fight over Butler County’s faulty voting machines has come to an end. The board of elections is getting 400 free electronic poll books out of the agreement as well as seven years of maintenance and available upgrades to the tune of about $1.5 million, Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said Thursday.
“We wanted more and we got more,” he said.
Butler County last year rejected a state-wide settlement that the Secretary of State’s office negotiated with Premier Election Solutions for about 47 other counties that accepted software upgrades, discounted maintenance fees, cash payments and more of the same free voting equipment.
Problems surfaced during the 2008 election when Butler County’s touch screen voting machines dropped 105 votes from West Chester Township. The votes were recovered.
Assistant Prosecutor Roger Gates, who handled the county’s lawsuit against Premier, had said it didn’t make sense for Butler County to accept the earlier settlement because it involved getting more of the same problematic machines or paying a discounted cost to replace them with optical scanning voting equipment.
The electronic poll books will be ready for next year’s primary election. They will replace paper poll books that election workers use to look up voters, confirm their identity and provide the right ballot on Election Day.