A proposed half-million-dollar-plus purchase of new voting equipment by the Reno County Clerk’s Office will move the county back to all paper ballots. The Reno County Commission will vote today on awarding the purchase contract, and County Clerk Donna Patton and Election Officer Jenna Fager are recommending equipment from Michigan-based ElectionSource, despite it being the highest of three bids. They anticipate savings in printing costs will more than offset the $13,000 in additional costs, Patton advised the commission last week. Overall, the contract – including discounts for trade-in, a multi-county group discount and signing a contract before the end of the year – is for $538,830. Reoccurring annual fees, after the first year, for software and firmware licenses and annual maintenance, total some $60,265.
The plan is to bond the purchase through county-funded temporary notes and pay it off in four years, Patton said. The county is replacing its decade-old voting equipment because the current machines operate off Windows XP, which the software manufacturer no longer supports.
… The main complaint about the existing electronic machines, Fager told the commission, was that they did not produce a paper ballot for the voter to see. “People refused to use the touchscreen,” she said.
… There are few counties in Kansas currently using the ElectionSource equipment, but more are moving to it, Patton said. It is the system that serves the entire state of Colorado.