Election Commission stays with MicroVote
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Aug 18, 2013 | 879 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MEMBERS OF THE Bradley County Election Commission decided Friday to stay with a voting machine style which was less costly and with which they were familiar.
MEMBERS OF THE Bradley County Election Commission decided Friday to stay with a voting machine style which was less costly and with which they were familiar.
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The Bradley County Election Commission will remain with MicroVote machines for balloting in upcoming elections, based on a decision reached Friday during a called session.

Jim Minor, a Democratic Party member, asked the commissioners to delay their vote, citing a lack of research throughout the process of their quest.

Optical scan machines were voted 4-1 with commissioner Dana Burgner voting no.

Commissioners decided they did have enough information and research regarding the choice of whether they wanted to stay with MicroVote or go to an optical scan system, which is more costly.

According to data compiled by Bradley County Elections Administrator Fran Green, there are 61,555 registered voters in Bradley County as of Friday.

The MicroVote agreement, which covers eight years of service including software and hardware maintenance, totaled a projected $41,490 cost per election cycle.

To switch to optical scan, which requires different machines and scanning equipment, the approximate quote would be $63,944 per election cycle, according to Green’s data.

Pricing includes yearly maintenance costs.

Commissioners Travis Henry, Duane Gilbert, Oscar Kelley and Theba Hamilton all voted “yes” to staying with MicroVote.

Green said the machines will be upgraded as needed.

“I’m gonna stick with the old saying … ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” Kelley said.

Minor said he wasn’t trying to sway the commission in the direction of either system, but thought more research was needed, citing some problems with the current system.

“We don’t live in a 100 percent perfect world and we could have problems with either system,” Burgner said.

But, according to the commissioners, only minor issues involving the current voting machines have surfaced during their use over the past several years.

Henry told the Election Commission’s visitors that research has been ongoing for nearly one year.

Minor had also cited that optical scan could be a future mandate by the state of Tennessee.

The commissioners have weighed that during the course of their need to make a decision regarding a system change.

Local, state and federal elections are scheduled for 2014.

The Bradley County Election Commission Office has been preparing for the 2014 election year by confirming voters and addresses.