Lyon County Clerk Tammy Vopat asked commissioners to consider investing in new voting equipment in the coming weeks during a meeting at the courthouse Thursday morning. The equipment which is currently being used in the county is reaching the end of its life. Vopat said the voting machines currently used by the county are 18 years old, and used in conjunction with a tabulating machine well over 30 years old. Vopat provided commissioners with information about equipment from two companies which have been certified by the State of Kansas and are used by other counties in the region. “We have been working very, very hard and for a long time researching election equipment,” Vopat said. “There have been some big counties that have done that and we’ve been watching and taking notes, and listening about what they did, how they did and what they liked and what they didn’t like. That’s been in the process now for probably three years.”
Unisyn and ES&S are the two companies Vopat narrowed down to provide quotes to the county. Both companies would provide similar machines and tabulation devices. The machines would also leave a paper trail, and would allow for voters to be sure they made the selections they wanted before the ballot was tabulated.
“For us and our voters, we’ve made the best choice that we possibly can by getting the right price and the right equipment,” Vopat said.
She said Unisyn had quoted the county $486,000 for the bare minimum of what the county needed. A quote from ES&S came back for $500,000, but Vopat said she was still in negotiations with the company for a better rate and was confident they would came back with a lower number.