MIAMI COUNTY — The new director for the Miami County Board of Elections was announced Friday afternoon as Bev Kendall. Kendall has had 17 years experience with the board of elections. She is expected to be sworn in at a later date.
The Miami County Board of Elections also discussed getting a backup system for their tabulation, but the backup system that was recommended to them by their support vendor is 14 years old.
“From an IT perspective, it doesn’t make sense to use anything but current hardware,” Matt Watkins of the Miami County information technology (IT) department said. “It boggles my mind that something that runs Windows 2000 is still in play around here just because it was a certified system.”
Watkins discussed looking into modernizing the board of elections in some way.
“Are we required to have a backup service?” board member Robert Huffman asked.
“I think the directive highly recommends it,” board member Jose Lopez said. Later on, Lopez asked Watkins if they should simply start over with their current tabulation system.
“The system you have has aged,” Watkins said. “The operating system you have isn’t even supported by the manufacturer any longer.” Watkins said that Microsoft will not entertain a phone call if they have a problem with Windows 2000.
“If this fails bad enough, even if I had a system sitting right next to it, you’re only going to bring it back to the point in time where the backend was last completed, which is mostly likely the night before,” Watkins said.
Watkins explained that a failure in the system on the day of an election could have an adverse outcome.
“So if you have a failure the day of,” Watkins said, “I don’t care how good your paddle is, you’re not going to make it.”
During the next portion of the meeting, the board received a poll book demonstration from VOTEC. Miami County Commissioner Bud O’Brien was present during this portion of the meeting.
Keir Holeman from VOTEC explained that they offer both tablets and laptops, supported by Windows software, to check in voters on election days.
“We are strictly a Windows shop,” Holeman said.
The battery life for the tablets ranges from three to five hours depending on usage. For the laptops, it is approximately three hours.
A separate signature pad comes with the electronic poll book. There is also a device to scan driver’s licenses. Voters can also be looked up manually in the system.
“We do offer the chance to cancel a check-in should you need to,” Holeman said.
The printer that comes with the system is connected via Blutooth and can print off approximately 400 names in 50 seconds.
The pricing is still under negotiation with the state.
Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall