Site Map
Voting News
Contact Us
About Us

is NOT!
associated with

Carbon gets voting machine grant
Officials threatened not to buy new equipment; about $460,000 allotted.

By Bob Laylo   The Morning Call    16 September 2005

Two weeks after threatening not to buy new voting machines required under federal law, Carbon County officials have learned they received a grant to buy them.

And county Election Director Kenneth Leffler said the machines probably will be bought late this year for use in May.

The Pennsylvania Department of State told the county it will get about $460,000 to buy the new machines.

''Maybe it was a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, maybe it wasn't,'' commissioner Chairman William O'Gurek said at Thursday's meeting.

Leffler said the grant approval is a big step in the process of buying the new machines.

''My feeling is between Thanksgiving and Christmas we will be buying voting machines,'' Leffler said. He said the grant should cover the cost of the machines.

The county is leaning toward buying touch-screen machines to replace its lever machines, which don't comply with the federal Help America Vote Act written after problems with Florida's punch ballots in the 2000 presidential election.

Commissioners had said the old machines are reliable, and at a Sept. 1 meeting threatened not to replace them.

But they were pleased with news of the grant.

O'Gurek said the state will release the money to the county once it has a contract or is close to a purchase. He had worried the county would have to foot the bill for the machines, then wait for reimbursement.

The Help America Vote Act provided $3.2 billion in federal money for the 50 states to improve voters' access and ballot accuracy. Pennsylvania got $53 million to share among its 67 counties.

Leffler said there are three touch screen systems he is considering. He said he wants to buy machines that are user-friendly for both voters and poll workers.

So far the Department of State has certified only one machine to be used, and it's not one the county wants. The state has inspected machines from six other companies and expects to decide on them soon, and will inspect machines from three other companies in the next few weeks.

The law requires counties to have the machines by Jan. 1.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein complained about the state's pace of approving machines.

''We're cutting it close now,'' Nothstein said.

Previous Page

Election Problem Log image
2004 to 2009


Accessibility Issues
Accessibility Issues

Cost Comparisons
Cost Comparisons

Flyers & Handouts

VotersUnite News Exclusives

Search by

Copyright © 2004-2010 VotersUnite!