The3rd meeting of the Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government was held on Tuesday, September 25, 2007, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Darryl T. Owens, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Damon Thayer, Co-Chair; Representative Darryl T. Owens, Co-Chair; Senators Julian M. Carroll, Alice Forgy Kerr, and Elizabeth Tori; Representatives Mike Cherry, Larry Clark, J. R. Gray, Mike Harmon, Mary Lou Marzian, Dottie Sims, and Kathy W. Stein.
Guests: Roger Baird, Harp Enterprises; Joe Bolton, Kentuckiana Election Services; and Steve Coray, Premier Election Solution (formerly known as Diebold).
LRC Staff: Judy Fritz, Terisa Roland.
The minutes of the July 24, meeting were approved without objection.
Representative Owens opened the meeting with a discussion of various voting machines used in the Commonwealth. Three distributors that set up voting machines and answered questions from the committee.
Joe Bolton, Kentuckiana Election Services said the machines he services and distributes are being used in 23 Eastern Kentucky counties. A handout by county, listed the machines being used and where.
Roger Baird, Harp Enterprises said 96 machines serviced and distributed by Harp are being used in Kentucky. Steve Coray, Premier Elections Solutions, Inc. services and distributes machines currently being used in Jefferson County.
Each distributor gave a brief presentation of their voting machines.
Representative Owens asked about the verified paper trail. Mr. Baird defined paper trail as a print out of how someone votes.
Representative Owens asked if someone votes a straight ticket, then votes for another candidate if it is automatically considered an over-vote. Mr. Baird said the machine makes the adjustment.
Representative Clark asked if the machines were like the ones used in Jefferson County with the paper ballot that slides through. Mr. Baird said the Premier System is like that.
Representative Stein asked how long it takes the machines to print out the voter verified paper ballot after they vote. Mr. Baird said approximately 15-20 seconds. He added that the printing could slow the process down.
Senator Carroll asked if the printout machine was part of the voting machine. Mr. Baird said that it is an add-on unit.
Representative Owens asked if individuals know they can receive a receipt once they cast their ballot. Mr. Coray said it is an option in Kentucky but is not being used currently.
Representative Stein asked what is the small piece of paper that comes out of the ballot with a number on it. Mr. Coray said it is an access code that is used in the voting machines to vote.
Representative Marzian questioned the accuracy of the paper vote. Mr. Coray said an accuracy test is performed before voting machines are set up on Election Day.
Representative Clark asked the cost of each machine. DRE $3200 a unit, printer device $325 per unit; E-Slate $3100, without disabled access $2500, with add on printer $1200 extra per unit; the Avotronic $3900 and M100 $3500 with box on top of that $850 more.
Senator Tori asked the average life of a machine. Mr. Baird said that has changed over the years with technology and that counties usually switch machines before the machines stop working.
Senator Carroll asked Don Blevins, Fayette County Clerk, to comment on behalf of the other county clerks, about the voting machines. Mr. Blevins said the discussion emanates from the Florida 2000 election where paper ballots were used. He said the Federal Government tried to revolutionize the election process and help with the disabled, especially the blind, so they could vote without assistance. This came about with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which had to be implemented by 2006. He said Congress is now considering another change.
Members then walked around to view all the voting machines. Business was concluded at 2:00 p.m.