County to purchase new vote tabulation machines

YERINGTON -- Hoping to avoid a repeat of vote tabulation delays during the Sept. 3 primary election, Lyon County Commissioners have allocated up to $25,000 to replace the faulty equipment.

The tabulation software crashed in the midst of counting the votes cast in the primary. Most of the votes had to be hand counted. The process took until 3 a.m.

Fearing the federal government was in the process of determining new vote-counting equipment guidelines, Clerk Treasurer Nikki Bryan did not request the equipment in her 2002-03 budget.

"I did not want to spend money on something we would have to change within the next year or two, but I have been told we can get full credit on the new equipment if new mandates are handed down," she said.

"We have had problems for some time. The equipment has been fixed several times and worked well prior to the election, but I just do not want to take the chance again."

Problems with ballot counting in Florida following the 2000 general election caused concern about vote-tabulation equipment and talk of new federal guidelines.

However, Bryan said the new equipment did not resolve Florida's problems in the recent primary election and the federal government may be backing off on any immediate changes.

The money for Lyon County's new vote-counting equipment will be taken from the county's contingency fund.


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