Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Damage to machines is not extensive
NEW CASTLE, Pa. Lawrence County election officials say they won't have to shell out thousands of dollars to have all of the county's touch-screen machines tested.
Officials were concerned earlier this month when a water pipe burst in the storage area where the county's 275 iVotronic touch-screen voting machines are stored and doused water on about 18 of them.
Initially, the machine manufacturer, Election Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., told the county it would have to hire a subcontractor to dismantle and test all 275 machines at a cost of $298,028.
Election board member Jim Gagliano said they were able to separate the 18 machines affected and powered up all but three of them.
Election board member Frank Piccari noted that two of the three that did not power up also did not power up in the 2006 general election.
Since the majority of the machines appear to be unaffected, ES&S is no longer insisting that a subcontractor dismantle and test each machine, Gagliano said.
But the company has agreed, under its existing contract, to test, recalibrate and program all 275 machines for the May 8 primary election. He said they intend to also dismantle a sampling of five or six machines to see whether there are any other problems. Gagliano expects the three that did not power up will be part of that sampling. He said they have not yet set a date for the company do the work.