Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is considering ending a voting system paid for with a $668,000 federal grant but which attracted only 27 voters. Krebs told legislators last week that the high cost might force her to shut off the electronic voting system for military personnel started by her predecessor, Jason Gant. But Gant said he is proud of the effort, even though only 27 military personnel used it to cast ballots in the 2014 election. Krebs said the system was developed using a $668,000 grant from the Federal Voting Assistance Program. State records show Gant signed a contract on Aug. 23, 2013, to pay a software company to build the iOASIS program for military personnel. It was intended to be a much-faster and more attractive substitute for traditional absentee ballots.
The contract called for an initial payment of $200,000 to the company, Everyone Counts Inc., of San Diego, California. The deal also required $50,000 maintenance payments to the company in 2014 and 2016.
“We’re going to have to re-evaluate to see whether it is a worthwhile contract to move forward with,” she said.
Krebs and Gant made their comments to the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee last week in Pierre.