Pennsylvania: Voting machine questions explored – Unused ballot design software has cost county up to $45,500 | Times-Leader

Luzerne County has been paying $6,500 a year for ballot design software that was not used, the new election director said, a decision that might have cost the county as much as $45,500. Marisa Crispell-Barber informed the county election board of the expenditure at Wednesday’s board meeting. She believes the software was purchased annually since the county started using the electronic voting machines in the 2006 primary. The board gave her permission to seek county funding to obtain training to fully implement the software and prepare ballots in-house. The training would cost $15,000 but would pay for itself because the county would no longer have to pay the voting-machine vendor to prepare ballots, she said. The county paid the vendor, Election Systems & Software, $33,563 to prepare the ballot in the 2012 primary alone, she said. She wants to secure training to design the ballot for the May 21 primary. Another employee also would be trained, and in-house preparation would gradually build a ballot database that can be used by her successors, she said.