Voting equipment demonstrations were held Wednesday, Thursday and Monday to help county officials choose new machines for local voters. Here, Jay Perbix representing Unisyn Voting answers questions from observers. Judy Wells/Paulding County Progress

By MELINDA KRICK

Progress Editor

PAULDING – Demonstrations concluded Monday, Feb. 11 for new voting equipment for the county.

A total of four demonstrations, representing a variety of systems, were held starting Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The Paulding County Board of Elections anticipates implementing the new machines for all county polling places for the Nov. 5 general election.

“We need to narrow it down to one or two choices, then meet with the companies,” said election board director Brenda Crawford.

The number of machines for the county’s 16 precincts needed depends on what type of system is chosen. Demonstrations covered a touchscreen system, two paper optical scan (OS) systems, and a combination touchscreen/OS system.

The four companies are Hart Intercivic, Unisyn Voting, Dominion Voting and Clear Ballot.

The new machines will replace outdated 14-year-old electronic gear.

Last year, the legislature approved money for counties in Ohio to assist with purchasing new voting equipment. Paulding County is to receive up to $354,420.91 of funding.

Crawford reported a good turnout for the demonstrations; most of those attending were poll workers. Members of the public also were present.

The election board would like to acquire the equipment this spring, but Crawford said it can be a lengthy process due to contracts, meeting state requirements and required testing.