At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the City council will consider a proposal to rent electronic voting machines at the November 3rd City elections.
The proposal will be about about one-time rental of equipment, sale of services and license of software, for electronic voting machines from the Election Systems & Software, LLC of Omaha,Nebraska.
The rental fee will be of an amount not to exceed $15,000.
Staff thinks that for the first time in many years, every district and the Mayoral race will be contested. Because of the number of names that will appear on the ballot, and the highly likely increase in voter turnout due to the number of candidates, the Board of Election Supervisors has recommended that we use electronic voting machines for this election.
The paper ballot/hand count method that has been used in previous elections is time- consuming and subject to human error on election night, at the end of a long day at the polls. Each name that appears on the ballot increases the time that it takes to count the votes. The Board of Elections has not been faced with this situation in many years, thus their request to use electronic machines for this election.
The system that we will use involves a paper ballot that is scanned into an optical reader. This is the same company that the state of Maryland will use for the 2016 elections. The Board of Election Supervisors will receive training on the equipment prior to the election, and a technician from ES&S will be available on Election Day for any needed support.