Monday, August 23, 2004

Johnson county, Indiana to use paper ballots in November

By Michael W. Hoskins, The Daily Journal, August 21-22, 2004

Good news from Indiana -- Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson recently announced the county will be using paper ballots this November rather than touchscreens.



Election Systems & Software, the company that sold Johnson County $2.4 million worth of touchscreen voting equipment late last year, has failed to get parts of the machines certified for use by Indiana election officials.

Johnson County’s election board in late July set Friday as the deadline for the company to get state approval. That had not happened by late Friday.

“We’re going with paper,” Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson said. “I hate to do this to voters, but it’s the safest and surest thing to do. We have to have a backup plan in place.”

Although county election officials were pleased with the performance of touchscreen equipment supplied by ES&S for the May primary, they have repeatedly questioned the company’s integrity and considered terminating the $2.4 million contract.

County election administrators have accused ES&S of twice misleading them about the use of authorized equipment.

The company sold Johnson County the new touchscreen technology last year after county commission and council members approved the purchase.

However, a part of the equipment called firmware was not certified by state election officials. The state allowed counties to use the equipment in May but are requiring state approval for November’s election.

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