State set to buy 600 more electronic voting machines for counties | NevadaAppeal.com

State set to buy 600 more electronic voting machines for counties

The Board of Examiners will vote today to approve the purchase of another 602 electronic voting machines for Nevada’s counties.

That is on top of the 2,000 machines the state purchased from Sequoia Voting Systems in 2004.

Using those machines, Nevada was one of the first states in the nation to go all electronic for voters, with a “paper trail” so they could check their ballots for accuracy, and to use an identical system statewide.

Clerks said the machines were a success in the 2004 elections, but most clerks asked for additional machines for the 2006 elections.

Chief Deputy Secretary of State Renee Parker said almost all of the $2 million is federal funds received under the Help America Vote Act. But she said unless Congress authorizes a new appropriation, this is the last of the federal money available to buy voting machines and related equipment.

That means each county will be responsible for the cost of buying more machines to handle growth and of maintaining and repairing existing units.

The majority of the machines – 472 – will go to Clark County, which received only a few machines in 2004. Clark already had an older version of the Sequoia electronic voting machine. The success of those machines in Clark is what convinced the state to go with Sequoia for all 17 counties.

In return, Clark was supposed to get about 2,000 more of the new machines complete with “paper trail” printers this year. But the Legislature eliminated funding for those added machines from the proposed budget.

The contract before the Board of Examiners would purchase 72 additional machines for Washoe County.

In addition, rapidly growing Nye County will add 15, Lyon County 20, White Pine four, Churchill four, Elko six, Eureka three, Humboldt, Pershing two, and Mineral and Lander one more machine apiece.

Parker said the remaining six counties didn’t ask for additional machines. But most, including Barbara Reed in Douglas and Alan Glover in Carson City, requested other things, including printers attached to the voting machines, computer memory cards which record the ballots, wheel and handle attachments to make moving them around easier and supplies.

Parker said they all received those items in the contract.

She said with the machines at $3,137 apiece plus the other supplies, the total contract before the board comes to $1,996,735.

That includes $1,587,474 for new machines and $309,500 for printers which allow voters to verify their ballot choices. The remaining $99,761 will pay for the accessories, supplies and other additions requested by clerks.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.