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Nevada voting machine contract approved


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A contract to buy more than 4,500 electronic voting machines and move Nevada voters into the computer age was approved Tuesday by the state Board of Examiners.

Secretary of State Dean Heller, a board member, said the $9.3 million deal should ensure that Nevada voters will be using the state-of-the-art election devices this year and that they will be able to get a paper receipt verifying how they voted.

However, Heller also said "there's a plan B in the contract" in case the paper trail process can't be set up in time for the new Sequoia Voting Systems machines, being purchased mainly with federal funds provided under the Help America Vote Act.

Carson City Clerk Alan Glover has said he and other county election officials are concerned that even if Sequoia gets the machines here in the next month, counties won't be able to use them because Heller has insisted they be able to produce a paper receipt.

In his report to other clerks about a recent conference in Washington, D.C., Glover said there are no standards now and there "will be no standards in the foreseeable future."

Glover said Heller already has ruled punch card machines Carson City and six other counties have used for decades are no longer legal voting devices, so counties must move forward. He said his preference is that, if the printing attachments aren't certified in time, the counties be allowed to use the new machines without them.

Heller wants the printing units before the new electronic machines are used statewide. But if the federal government can't certify the printing units quickly, the contract with Sequoia contains language designed to let the state hire experts to do the job - at Sequoia's expense.

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