A Kanawha County commissioner is upset with the prospect of the state awarding a no-bid contract for maintenance of electronic voting machines. But the Kanawha County clerk believes the maintenance contract, if approved by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office, would be a good deal for taxpayers.
Commission President Kent Carper believes the state giving Electronic Systems & Software a no-bid contract to perform maintenance on the 374 electronic voting machines and two tabulators is just another unfunded mandate placed on the county. The county would have to pay the company $66,000 to $76,000 a year for maintaining the machines, Carper said.
The state entered into a contract with ES&S in 2005 under the administration of then Secretary of State Betty Ireland to provide the electronic voting machines. The original contract also provided the company with the exclusive rights to maintain the machines, Carper said. That contract is set to expire at the end of September.
The touch screen and optical scan voting machines are now five years old, and the potential for maintenance issues is increasing, Carper said.
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