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Commission Develops Election Plans

Official Hopes To 'Test Drive' New Vote Counting Machines by Tom Sissom | February 14, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.

— Benton County election officials are working to update the county’s voting systems, with an eye to making their pitch to Quorum Court in the next few months.

Election commissioner Robbyn Tumey asked coordinator Kim Dennison to compile information from the November 2012 general election, including the number of registered voters in each precinct and votes cast in the general election in each precinct.

Tumey also asked Dennison to gather information on the number of paper ballots used, early and absentee ballots cast and voter turnout rate.

Tumey said during the meeting she would like to “test drive” some new vote counting machines the commission hopes to be able to buy, possibly using them in a smaller election sometime this year.

She said it might be simpler to work with the commission in Sebastian County. That commission already is using the machines. Benton County officials could observe the process and procedures during an election in that county.

Tumey and Commission Chairman John Brown Jr. said they hope to be able to present plans to the Quorum Court in the next few months. Tumey said the commission is looking at about $350,000 for new vote counting machines.

The commission met Wednesday to handle some housekeeping items related to the April 9 municipal primary election for Siloam Springs.

Siloam Springs has the city manager form of government. The city has a mayor and board of directors that set policies and budgets and hires a professional manager to run the day-to-day operation of city government. A vacancy was created on the city’s board after the November general election when John Turner was elected mayor. Turner was elected to the Ward 1 seat on the city’s board in 2010, according to information from the city. When Turner was elected mayor in 2012 that created the Ward 1 vacancy.

Four candidates have filed for the seat on the City Board — Ben Jones, Dennis Brown, John Guffey and Ken Wiles. A special municipal election to decide the winner will be held May 14 if no candidate wins a majority of the votes in the April 9 primary.

Print Headline: Commission Develops Election Plans

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