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County chooses new vote devices

By Slav Kandyba    Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum   05 February 2005

BUCYRUS Crawford County voting precincts should be equipped with a Diebold-brand computerized voting system in time for the November polls, the four-member board of elections recommended Friday.

Several board members and community members saw a demonstration from a representative of Diebold Election Systems Inc., a Canton-based company whose machines are used in several states and Canada.

Sales representative Robert G. Diekmann said it is the only system certified by federal officials.

The certification sold board member Patricia Armstrong on the machines, she said, as did the company's Canton corporate headquarters.

Board director Ruth Leuthold said "continuity" also was a factor. The county curentrly uses a Diebold voter registration system.

Friday's demonstration marked the seventh time representatives from a crowded field of companies demonstrated their products to the board in the past two years, board member Joan Dilley said.

With the approval of Diebold, the ion process appears to be over for Crawford County. Not all parts demonstrated Friday, however, will be functional in time for the general election in November. Only the optical scan that receives ballots will debut then. The computer on which voters will mark their choices will be installed in time for the May 2006 primary, Leuthold said.

The board had until Wednesday to make a choice under state law. A representative from the office of Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell attended the Diebold demonstration and the board meeting.

In other business, the board unanimously voted to annex a 1.43-acre area of Whetstone Township into Bucyrus 1A district. The area covers Englefield, Duke and Duchess. Also, a half-acre of Whetstone Township was annexed into Bucyrus 2C.

The board of elections will next meet at 2 p.m. Feb. 18.

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