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How do you move and store a 47-pound voting machine?

By Matt Suman,  Seneca Advertiser-Tribune   08 February 2005

The Seneca County commissioners still must determine where to store optical scan voting machines after the elections board decides between two qualified vendors.
Commissioner Ben Nutter said the commissioners want to be sure Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell won't change his mind again before they designate storage space for the equipment.

Blackwell decided to go with optical scan voting machines, rather than electronic voting devices, because electronic machines exceed available funding, with the requirements for a paper receipt.

Nutter said, "It's (The Help America Vote Act) an incredibly bad waste of taxpayer money on the part of the state and federal government."

He said transporting the 47-pound optical scan machines is another issue. Nutter said the county might need to buy a truck to move the machines around.

"Now we're going to have to store them here and pay our maintenance staff to move them around," he said.

Blackwell directed county elections boards to decide between two qualified vendors-Diebold Elections Systems or Elections Systems and Software by Wednesday.

The Seneca County Board of Elections will meet Tuesday evening after the special election to decide if they will use Diebold Elections Systems or Elections Systems and Software machines.

Blackwell's office has said contracts for new voting equipment will be worked out between vendors and his office instead of local elections boards.

Dave Sauber, Seneca County commissioner, wanted to make clear the commissioners have nothing against the county elections board.

He said he still has concerns about paying for climate-controlled storage for new voting equipment.

Janet Leahy, Seneca County Board of Elections director, said at least one commissioner would be at the elections board meeting Wednesday evening to discuss what approach to take with Blackwell's directive.

Nutter said he doesn't want to refuse the optical scan voting machines from the state then have the county pay for them later.

Jody Beall O'Brien, Hancock County Board of Elections director, said her county chose to go with Diebold, a vendor from North Canton, Ohio last Wednesday.

"We are going with the assumption that the (HAVA) money is there," she said.

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