Election commissioners in Jefferson County are at an impasse over the need to replace the county’s antiquated voting machines and the cost to replace them. The county currently uses iVotronics voting machines and software supplied by Election Systems & Software in its 39 polling sites. It owns about 150 machines that are kept in the Election Commission office in Pine Bluff. Commissioner Stu Soffer recently presented a proposal from Election Systems & Software for the purchase of 140 ExpressVote voting machines, the latest model of electronic voting machines available from the company. Included in the proposal were 140 ExpressVote kiosks, 43 model DS200 vote tabulators, 74 printers and 74 tablet computers, as well as all related software and training.The total cost for the hardware, software and support services included in the proposal was $882,361,52. Post-warranty license, maintenance and support fees would add an additional $42,201 annually.
Soffer said the county purchased 175 iVotronic voting machines in 2005. Over time many of those machines have needed replacement for various reasons, including two incidents that involved water damage. The latest water incident occurred when the Election Commission building flooded in April, ruining all of the machines in storage.
Soffer said the commission replaced those machines with 150 surplus iVotronic machines that it received from Grant and Craighead counties after those counties purchased new machines.
“I’ve been able to pick up machines from other counties as they’ve replaced them,” Soffer said. “But we’re going through voting machines like water.”
Lonoke County used iVotronics machines during the 2018 primary election, but purchased 80 ExpressVote machines for the general election. Lonoke County Election Commission Chairman Mickey “Stubby” Stumbaugh said it was “like the difference between night and day.”
Full Article: Old voting machines divisive issue for county in Arkansas.