SIDNEY — The second time proved to be the charm for the Shelby County Board of Elections during Tuesday’s Shelby County Commissioners meeting.
The board had requested the commissioners approve a plan to purchase voter registration software from Triad Governmental Systems Inc. during the commissioners’ meeting on May 2.
After requesting further information, Board of Elections Director Pamela Kerrigan and board members James Kerg Jr. and Douglas Pence returned to the commissioner’s meeting Tuesday with the required information concerning of where the funds will be coming from for the $77,000 purchase.
Kerg told the commissioners that a cost relationship spreadsheet to the budget had been prepared.
“Mr. Pence put in a lot of time to compile the information,” said Kerg. “This is a cost-to-cost benefit analysis.”
Kerg said the information shows the offsets and tradeoffs and how the $77,000 will be paid over a five-year period. Some current expenses, he said, will be eliminated with the new voter registration system.
“We feel this new system will encourage citizens to come out and vote,” said Kerg. “The last major upgrade on the voter registration system was 2005.
“It’s our (board of elections) responsibility to register the voter so they can cast their vote and to provide voting functions on Election Day and 30 days prior to the election.”
With the new software, said Kerg, a person will be able to go to the board’s website and access information which they used to have to ask for at the board of elections.
“They can go to the website at home and find the information themselves,” he said. “This will be a cost savings as the voter can print off wheat they want, when they want” instead of hiring additional staff members to assist with the searches.
“We need to get ready to the 2020 election and provide reports to people without additional staffing,” he said.
Triad, said Kerg, has voter registration information systems in 67 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Kerrigan said she doesn’t anticipate the new purchase will cause an increase to the office’s budget.
“The new ES&S voting equipment was state purchased, so that frees up money in the budget to purchase the voter registration system,” said Kerrigan.
Both equipment and software, she said, will all be updated in 2019.
Commissioner Tony Bornhorst said June 1 was the “drop dead” deadline for the maintenance fee with ES&S, which is $14,364 The new license fee and support for the Triad system will be $16,000 for the year, which Bornhorst said, could be paid for with the funds no longer needed for ES&S.
The commissioners — Bornhorst, Bob Guillozet and Julie Ehemann — agreed to move foward with the purchase of the voter registration system provided by Triad.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.