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January 19, 2011 - 9:25pm

For next election, villages must decide between computers or paper ballots

posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, Board of Elections.

Genesee County's six village's could face a substantial expense if they want to use the Board of Election's modern voting machines, Election Commissioner Richard Siebert told the Ways and Means Committee this afternoon.

The exact cost per village hasn't been determined yet, but it starts with more than 56 cents per ballot to feed into the machines and includes staff support and security.

Only certified staff can supervise the machines in order to ensure there is no tampering, Siebert said.

While school districts can continue to use the old lever machines through the 2012 elections, villages and fire districts are prohibited from allowing voters to pull on the old levers from now on.

The Board of Elections will bring forward a resolution to the Legislature to declare the lever machines surplus property, at which point they can be donated to school districts, if they want them.

For villages and fire districts, they have two choices: shoulder the costs of using the new election computers or use paper ballots.

Legislator Bob Bausch said that Bergen will use paper ballots for its next election.

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