Warren County’s voting machines

County officials continue to explore an upcoming upgrade to the county’s election machines.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said a meeting was held last week with county IT staff and Director of Elections Lisa Rivett where they “went through what we have versus what we think we could have with a couple different options.”

“Lisa (Rivett) has put together a request for proposals to get new quotes from (election machine providers),” Eggleston said, noting that she has “done a lot of really good work, going through the election code (and) what we can do to save money as much as possible (to) still have an efficient system (that) accommodates the state’s need for a paper trail.”

He added that this is “another major capital purchase or process we’re going to have to navigate through this budget cycle.”

Concurrent to that effort, Eggleston said he is working with Chief Clerk Pam Matve to potentially coordinate a joint purchase through the caucus of the Northwest County Commissioners Association.

He said its his hope that such an effort would bring a “little more negotiating power” and that multiple counties are interested, though they “want to see details on what that could look like.”

Such an effort, he said, would include a joint request for proposals for the counties interested with the hope that the providers would offer a reduced price if multiple counties sign on. Each county would then have their own contract with the selected firm.

“Even if we got half of the counties (of the Northwest Commissioners Association), I think we could see a significant savings. If (we’re) going to do that, we have to get it bolted down, literally, in a month” for budgeting purposes.