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Jefferson Co. OKs purchase of vote counting machines

May 11, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Officials became frustrated Thursday while discussing how Jefferson County will use new voting equipment in upcoming elections.

Jefferson County will use new M-100 counting machines in the primary election next year.

The machines will count votes at each precinct and are expected to speed up the tallying process, said Jefferson County Clerk Jennifer Maghan, who oversees county elections.

But concerns arose when Maghan explained to the Jefferson County Commission that a metal cart which will be used to carry the M-100 and other electronic voting equipment.

Each precinct will have a cart, but Commissioner Dale Manuel said Thursday that county officials will not be able to transport the equipment in cars.

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The commissioners have been talking about the need for heavier vehicles like trucks to transport the carts.

Manuel said he did not want to move forward on purchasing the carts until the commission knows how much the transportation costs will be.

Maghan said she is still working on that issue.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan complained that the commission has been given varying costs for the carts.

"There's been so many twists and turns in this road," Morgan said.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said the county will have to "eat the costs" and move on.

A motion to delay action on purchasing the carts failed and the commission ended up approving the purchase.

Maghan said the cost of 36 M-100s was $207,576 and the carts will cost $27,425. Half the cost for the two expenditures will be paid through a loan, Maghan said.

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