County Leases Voting Machines In Anticipation of Heavy Primary Voter Turnout
by Bob Dunn
Feb 25, 2008 | 415 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fort Bend County Commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on whether to lease 200 voting machines from Denton County in order to handle an anticipated heavy voter turnout for the March 4 primary elections.

However, the vote appears to be only a formality, as government sources said county officials actually reached agreement with Denton County for the machines last Friday.

"The programming will be done and the machines distributed to the March 4 voting sites on time," an email sent from County Judge Bob Hebert's office on Friday states. "As per the agreement between the two parties, 50 machines will be programmed with the Republican ballot and 150 for the Democratic ballot."

Also according to the email, Hebert has filmed a public service announcement scheduled to run 394 times on Comcast Cable channels, encouraging people to vote early in the primary election.

Interim Elections Administrator Robin Heiman did not return a phone call seeking information about how the additional voting machines will be used.

According to a Commissioners Court agenda item for Tuesday's court meeting, commissioners will be asked to approve "an emergency expenditure to meet an unforeseen condition," apparently referring to the need for the 200 additional machines. The lease of the machines will cost the county $62,660.

Ironically, former elections administrator J.R. Perez, who tendered a surprise resignation last week, said a few days earlier that he believes 40% of county voters may turn out for the March 4 primary. Perez added that the county was not prepared for such a turnout, and it was too late to do anything more about it.

Perez resigned during a closed meeting of the county Elections Commission - made up of elected officials and the chairs of the two major political parties.

One source in attendence at the meeting said it was called to have a discussion with Perez to see “could we salvage” the stormy relationship between the elections administrator and other county officials. The source said if Perez hadn't resigned, it is possible he would have been asked to tender his resignation anyway.
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KDTunstall
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February 26, 2008
Another unverifiable election. Like I trust those who will be counting the vote....pfft.

"It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." (Josef Stalin)

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