The Butler County commissioners are concerned the Board of Elections dropped a maintenance contract on its 1,600 voting machines, presumably because they thought they would be getting new ones soon. Commissioner Don Dixon said he understood the Board of Elections may have been trying to save money — the maintenance agreement costs about $85,000 a year — if they thought the voting machines would be replaced soon, but that’s not the case. “If they are under the impression that this equipment is going to be changed out in the next months, I think they are operating under the wrong assumption,” said Dixon, who added that an 85/15 funding bill from the state would not happen until 2018 or 2019. Butler County has about 1,600 voting machines — 150 are currently broken but are used for spare parts, according to the Board of Elections — that are 12 years old.
In the past five elections — three general elections, one primary and one special election — there were 118 double votes, according to records provided by the Board of Elections. Those happened when issues, such as a machine freezing, occurred and a poll worker issued a new ballot and had those voters vote again. Nearly 90 of those double votes occurred in the March 2016 primary and the November 2016 general elections.
It is going to cost an estimated $3 million to $6 million to get new voting machines. The state originally planned to help counties replace aging equipment next year, but that item was removed from the budget.
Full Article: Maintenance of Butler County voting machines raises concerns.