County Commission to Look At Voting-Machine Costs


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UPDATED. Anybody who has followed county government processes knows how easy it is to get lost in the weeds of complex numeral series. Such was the case with the Shelby County Commission’s budget negotiations earlier this year, and such is the case with a key matter before the commission today, Monday, September 28th.

The commission is scheduled to take up the matter of new voting devices for Shelby County. This is an in issue that has been simmering for well over a year, and, amid a bidding process that engendered no meager amount of controversy, county election administrator Linda Phillips ultimately has recommended, and the Shelby County Election Commission has confirmed, the selection of new ballot-marking machinery from the ES&S Company, which dominates the election-machinery field.

The actual scheduled vote on Monday was for $5,815,405.00 for equipment including scanning equipment for prospective immediate use in regard absentee votes, with $2,410,000.00 of that offset from expected reimbursement funds from the State of Tennessee.(After some debate, the Commission voted 7-6 to defer the item until its next regular meeting).

A variety of other numbers figure into the respective bids, as well, and the expertise of the County Commission, the ultimate paymaster, in working with conflicting columns of numbers could be called on again at the Monday meeting. There are ample weeds to be dealt with.

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