It’s not a done deal, but by a 3-1 vote today, the Hancock County Board of Elections approved a motion to purchase new voting equipment from Dominion Voting Systems.
If approved by the Hancock County commissioners, the new equipment will replace an 8-year-old system which doesn’t contain current technology.
Board member Nancy Stephani voted against the purchase, preferring a system by Unisyn Voting Solutions, which requires voters to insert a vote tabulation into a nearby scanner to record their ballot. Both systems utilize touch-screen voting and voter sign-in screen pad technology. Both systems had been previously demonstrated for the board.
The approval came after a vote to accept the Unisyn Voting Solutions option was defeated by the same 3-1 vote, with Stephani voting in favor and board members David Spahr, Dick Larick and Elizabeth Candler voting against. Stephani and Candler are Democrats and Spahr and Larick are Republicans.
The Dominion equipment is similar to what is currently used, with a “SmartCard” given to a voter, who slides it into the machine, which then displays the candidates and issues for voter consideration.
The Dominion purchase price of more than $1.41 million was reduced by a state allocation of about $836,187 and a trade-in allowance of about $383,261. So, the county will be responsible for about $200,037 which may be paid outright, or over six, eight or 10 years.
The Unisyn Voting Solutions option would have cost about twice as much because of the additional scanner equipment necessary.
Jim Maurer, staff writer, is developing this story.