MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections is continuing to window-shop for voting machine vendors, meeting with Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) and the Miami County Board of Commissioners during a vendor demonstration held late Monday afternoon.
Craig Seibert from ES&S led the demonstration, discussing the company’s DS200 precinct scanner and tabulator and its DS450 high-throughput scanner and tabulator.
Seibert also demonstrated ES&S’s Express Vote Universal Voting Machine, which is a vote-marking device. Seibert showed how voters would insert a paper card into the machine, which would then record their votes as they cast them on the touchscreen.
Each of the options is paper-based, with each tabulator able to count regular paper ballots. The DS200 is also able to count the paper cards from the Express Vote machine and is also compatible with the DS450.
The Express Vote machine also comes in a kiosk option where each machine would have its own stand and tabulation machine attached to the kiosk. This option would be the most similar to the county’s current direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines.
“Every device runs off a USB stick,” Seibert said, adding that the USB drives are also commercial grade. “All this data’s encrypted.”
Seibert suggested that there are a variety of ways the board could incorporate the use of their products. The board could go back to paper ballots entirely, having one DS200 tabulator at each polling location along with one Express Vote machine for handicapped voters, as the Express Vote machine has options for blind voters.
The county could also choose to offer all voters the option of using Express Vote machines, having a number of them set up on tables at each polling location along with one tabulator per polling location.
The county could also choose to replace their DRE machines with the Express Vote kiosks.
There are 46 counties in Ohio using some type of ES&S software or device, according to Seibert. He later added that there are three counties in Ohio using their Express Vote machines, including Portage, Knox, and Tuscarawas counties.
The vendor demonstrations came after the board received a directive from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office last year to determine their possible need of voting machines with the county commissioners. The county’s current DRE voting machines are also over 12 years old.
The board also held a Vendor Day last year, when they invited a number of businesses to display their voting machine products.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com or (937) 451-3336