Just In

U.S. Marshals, sheriffs chase Clark County man through chicken coop

Clark County preparing to replace voting machines, possible $1M cost

The Clark County Board of Elections wants to create a designated fund to save money to purchase new voting equipment in the future — possibly before the next presidential election in 2020, officials said.

The fund would be designed solely for that purpose, elections board Director Jason Baker said. The upgrades may cost about $1 million.

MORE NEWS: New Carlisle library to expand hours, hire more staff

“This will ensure that 10 to 12 years down the road, we don’t need to say, ‘State give us the money,’” Baker said.

Over the past five years, the board has saved about $350,000 in permanent improvement money to purchase new equipment. However the board of elections doesn’t want to rely on the state to purchase new voting equipment, Baker said.

“At some point in time, the state is going to dry up its money and not be able to purchase for us or reimburse us for voting equipment,” he said.

The equipment is 12 years old, Elections Board Member Lynda Smith said, two years past its recommended life.

MORE NEWS: Clark County schools make changes due to drug crisis, 1 stocks Narcan

“By the time we get to another (presidential election), if we have a dramatic equipment failure, it’s going to be bad,” Baker said.

So the money charged to local governments that put issues on the ballot would go to a separate board of elections fund, he said, rather than the county’s general fund. General fund money can be used for any purpose, Clark County Administrator Jenny Hutchinson said.

“It’s (currently) an earmark,” she said.”If we needed the money, we could use it.”

If a resolution is passed, the county can rescind the resolution at any time and bring the money back into its general fund, Baker said.

The change would make it easier for election officials to see how much money it has available for upgrades, Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax-Wilt said.

RELATED: Clark County commissioners approve store rezoning despite objections

The Clark County Board of Elections will make the decision on when to purchase new equipment and county commissioners will have the final vote on the purchase, Baker said.

“It’s the county’s money,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s spent correctly and we don’t want to waste anything.”

No discussions have taken place about what kind of equipment to buy, Baker said.

In December, the board of elections will be hosting approved voting machine vendors from across the country, he said.

“We’re going to invited everyone to watch and see what they have,” Baker said.

RELATED: Clark County council votes against merging 2 clerk of courts offices

The fund could also help plan for elections in future generations, he said, especially as technology continues to become more expensive.

“We need to look to prepare for the future, not just trying to get a quick fix now,” Baker said.

The commission and county staff will review the proposal over the next few weeks, Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes said.

Clark County has about 90 precincts and about 89,000 registered voters.


1st-of-its-kind center for addicts, families opens in Springfield

Controversial $1.8M Derr Road lane reduction project will move forward

Springfield pool loses money but brings in 340K visits after 10 years

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Would you ride in a car with a brain?
Would you ride in a car with a brain?

What makes a smart car so smart? For starters, a computer “brain.” Artificial intelligence and machine learning allow smart cars to make decisions for drivers and are the key to development of the fully autonomous vehicles that experts say are the future of transportation. It will likely be a few decades before fully autonomous cars are...
Cottrel: Here’s your chance to weigh in on the future of Clark County
Cottrel: Here’s your chance to weigh in on the future of Clark County

Speaking of communication, which was the subject of my column last week, this coming week is full of some golden opportunities for us to contribute our two cents. Big things are happening in our end of the county and residents need to have input. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, another Community Choices Workshop will be held by Connect Clark County. This session...
Silicon Valley fighting Portman’s efforts to end sex trafficking
Silicon Valley fighting Portman’s efforts to end sex trafficking

Sen. Rob Portman’s fight to keep websites from selling children and women online for sex is being met with resistance by Silicon Valley. Portman, R–Ohio, who along with a small group of senators has waged a years-long battle against Backpage, a classified site infamous for being the leading online market to purchase children for sex, is...
Trump speaks to U.N. saying some portions of world are ‘going to hell’
Trump speaks to U.N. saying some portions of world are ‘going to hell’

STORYLINE:   President Donald Trump delivered his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. In a more than 40 minute speech, the President delivered some tough talk for North Korea and Iran.  President Trump said major portions of the world are in conflict and some are "going to hell."  He said the United Nations...
Ohio Supreme Court to decide on new abortion laws
Ohio Supreme Court to decide on new abortion laws

By all accounts, abortion opponents have been racking up win after win in the Ohio Statehouse over the last six years, making it more difficult for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Now the Ohio Supreme Court could cement or unravel those wins, depending on how it decides two pending legal challenges. The high court heard arguments on Capital...
More Stories