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.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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