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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • 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).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • 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.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. 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.

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