Machines damaged during election

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 28, 2008


The city will have to work with Electronic Systems & Software to replace some voting machines damaged during Tuesday&8217;s $12.3 million bond election.

Some of the 16 machines were damaged by water from a downpour shortly before the polls were to open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Others were tossed around and damaged.

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The city borrowed 16 machines from Dallas County to cover the election.

Provost Judge Kim Ballard said he had spoken with ES&S on Wednesday, and the manufacturer would bring replacement machines to ensure the county has working machines until the originals are in good working order.

ES&S will work with the city to recover the cost of repairing or replacing the machines, and the county will not be involved, Ballard said.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. did not respond to questions submitted to him about the machines.

Mark Kelly of ES&S, who handles the county&8217;s account, said he didn&8217;t know how many of the machines are damaged or what would happen.

The machines cost about $6,500 brand new. The county leases the machines from ES&S. Records show that these particular machines used Tuesday have been in service four about 14 years.

The mayor&8217;s officer reported Tuesday that an &8220;act of God&8221; resulted in damaged voting machines used for the bond issue election.

Later delivery of machines, damaged ones and poll workers that did not show up to work at some places caused confusion and late voting Tuesday.

The bond issue failed by a vote of 2,009 to 1,606.