Commissioners approve ballot system

Voting to be more accessible to blind

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Commissioners voted to purchase an accessible ballot marking system on Monday and met with architects to discuss design proposals for the courthouse plaza reconstruction project.

The system was approved by the Miami County Board of Elections in July and will allow disabled voters to use their own electronic devices to cast an absentee ballot.

The system, which is offered by TRIAD Governmental Systems, is designed to make absentee voting more accessible to blind voters and can be used with screen readers. Voters will be able to request ballots online, which will be emailed to them to be printed, filled out, and mailed back to the board of elections.

The tool is sold as a one-time setup cost, which for Miami County is $6,152 and includes the November 2018 election. After that, the county will pay for the ballots for each election.

The commissioners also met with representatives from Garmann Miller and Associates, who presented the board with several design proposals.

Cost estimates were not included in the presentation.

Each of the proposals included the replacement of the walkways and paved surfaces between the courthouse and safety buildings with a level surface, as well as the replacement of the current lighting and the use of the stones in the current fountains in new water features.

Other suggestions included specialty lighting, like color-changing lights on the courthouse, and heated walkways to cut back on de-icing or snow removal in winter.

Earlier this year, the commissioners approved a contract with Garmann Miller and Associates to come up with designs that address the uneven walkway, issues with fountain drainage and the outdated lighting in the plaza.

The contract was broken down into $80,000 for the study and schematic design phase, $40,000 for the design development phase, and $10,000 for reimbursable expenses. The contract also includes an 8.5 percent of construction cost fee for the development of any construction documents.

Voting to be more accessible to blind

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at