County reimbursed 108K for machines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Special to The Journal

Alabama Secretary of State Nancy L. Worley presented Crenshaw County with a check for $108,450 Sat., July 15, to reimburse the county for money spent to modernize its voting system and comply with the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

The money was the first of $23 million that will be distributed to every county that submitted a reimbursement form to the state that was complete and complied with the law's requirements for purchases.

&#8220I'm delighted to present this check to Crenshaw County,” Worley said.

&#8220Crenshaw is one of the state's smallest counties and it has a very small staff, but the county was the first to submit its completed application for reimbursement funds.”

According to Crenshaw County Commission Chairman Ronnie Blackmon, the county purchased 18 voting machines in time for the June 6 primary.

Crenshaw County selected Automark machines manufactured by Election Systems and Software (ES&S).

The Automark machines, which will be used by all of the state's 67 counties, produce paper ballots that can be verified by the voter.

HAVA requires that all states provide at least one piece of disabled-accessible voting equipment in each polling place.

The new machines must also notify a voter if he or she overvotes, or selects more than one candidate for the same race, and give him or her an opportunity to correct the ballot.

To be reimbursed for voting equipment expenses, counties were required to meet certain criteria, including: submitting a complete reimbursement form; purchasing only equipment that was certified by state law; engaging in a competitive bid process; and purchasing at least one piece of equipment per polling place.

Secretary Worley will distribute $23 million in reimbursement funds to counties across the state by mid-August.

Alabama received approximately $40 million in federal funding to pay for HAVA's mandates.