Pasco County Selects Touch Screens from ES&S

Election Systems and Software Inc. will provide 1,500 touch-screen voting devices to Pasco County, Fla., to replace the county's 24-year-old punch-card system, the company announced Aug. 24.

The announcement followed a unanimous vote by the Pasco County Florida Board of Commissioners to purchase ES&S' iVotronic touch-screen voting solution. The final contract is under negotiation, the company said.

The new touch-screen voting machines will be used starting with local elections in April 2002, county officials according to county officials.

The iVotronic machine retails for between $3,000 and $3,700, said Jeff Berg, a company spokesman. The price varies on whether the customer purchases options, including an audio feature for the visually impaired, foreign language features for non-English speakers and various memory storage features, he said.

The official certification of ES&S' touch-screen and optical-scan election solutions by the Florida Division of Elections was an important factor in the county's decision, said Kurt Browning, supervisor of elections for Pasco County.

ES&S announced Aug. 2 that Sussex County, N.J., will purchase 410 touch-screen systems to replace its 13 year-old punch-card system.

Touch screens are a type of direct recording electronic system in which the voter enters choices directly into electronic storage using either a touch screen, push buttons or similar device. Voters choices are stored in these machines on a memory cartridge, diskette or smart card for tabulation.

Pasco County, located on the Gulf Coast, has 132 voting precincts and more than 231,000 registered voters.

ES&S of Omaha, Neb., has hardware and software solutions that support the election process, including voter registration, ballot production, voting, tabulation and results reporting.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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