Fayette village council 1.16

Written by David Green.

Last month, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner released the results of a study that found “critical security failures” in electronic voting machines used in the state.

Brunner suggested ditching the new touch-screen voting machines used in many Ohio counties and switching to an optical scan system that uses paper ballots.

When the Fulton County commissioners visited the Fayette village council meeting Thursday, they made it clear they had no intention of replacing the county’s Diebold touch-screen machines.

“We have full confidence in our voting machines,” Dean Genter said.

He said about half a million dollars was spent updating to the existing system and another $450,000 would be needed to make the change to an optical scan system. Genter said commissioners are not going to spend any county funds on making a change.

Genter told councilors that anyone wanting to vote by paper ballot can request an absentee ballot.

“Honestly, Fulton County is a model for the whole state of Ohio,” commissioner Joe Short said. “Other counties don’t have a clue of how to operate the equipment. It appears to us that [Brunner’s response] is a fiasco.”

Short said voting problems from the 2004 election arose in counties to the east.

The federally funded $1.9 million study of the state’s voting machines involved two teams of scientists conducting parallel assessments of the state’s three voting systems, including Diebold machines—now known as Premier Election Solutions.

“To put it in everyday terms, the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant,” Brunner said in a press release about the study.

Overall, the study identified numerous risks to election integrity ranging from minor to severe, according to the review.

A bipartisan team of 12 election board directors and deputy directors advised the study, evaluated all reports and participated with the secretary in making recommendations for change.

Genter said the commission’s decision against replacing voting machines has the full support of the area’s two state legislators. The secretary of state doesn’t make the laws, he said, and commissioners will abide by legislators’ decisions.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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