Court eyes new voting equipment

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By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

Citing issues with antiquated equipment as the reason for recent delays in election results, Caldwell County Election Administrator Pamela Ohlendorf has asked the Caldwell County Commissioners Court to consider the purchase of new equipment, which could run as much as $246,000, as explained in a prese

ntation on Monday morning.

Chris Moody, a representative from ES&S Election Equipment, the County’s electronic voting vendor, was on hand during the regular meeting of the Commissioners Court to hold a demonstration of the latest available equipment, which supporters say would streamline electronic voting, and ease the process of tabulating electronic votes.

Still, some said, regardless whether the machines are updated, many voters still prefer a paper ballot, and the Court was urged to consider not doing away with paper ballots, though many counties have already done so.

At the request of Commissioner Ed Theriot, Caldwell County Judge Kenneth Schawe will soon call a meeting of the Caldwell County Election Commission, who the Court has asked to discuss the equipment, as well as other issues regarding the Elections Office.

The Court opted to table the purchase of the equipment pending the Commission’s recommendation.

In addition to tabling this decision, the Commissioners opted to table several points of discussion, including a discontinuation of the Employee Long-Term Disability Benefit, the addition of the position of Docent for the Caldwell County Jail Museum to the Caldwell County payroll, and the nomination of a new member to the Caldwell County Appraisal District Board of Directors.

In brief news:

They held a public hearing regarding relocating stop signs in the Prairie Lea community, at the intersection of St. Joseph and School Streets. Though the measure had been decided, Commissioner Eddie Moses opted to hold a second public hearing in response to complaints from some members of the community about the installation of the sign.

They appointed Tom Bonn to continue serving on the Bluebonnet Trails Community Services Board of Trustees.

The Court approved two short-form plats, and the application for a “Co-Morbidity” grant for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.

The County paid bills in the amount of $266,060.85.

The Caldwell County Commissioners Court routinely meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the second floor courtroom of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public and available for online viewing at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.

kathibliss@post-register.com

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