BY COUNCILOR EDWARDS:RESOLUTION AWARDING CONTRACT TO ELECTION SYSTEMS AND SOFTWARE FOR VOTING EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $191,167.50.
RESOLVED, that Election Systems and Software be and hereby is awarded a contract for furnishing and delivering voting equipment and software for the city clerk division in accordance with specifications on its low specification bid of $191,167.50, terms net 30, FOB destination, payable out of Capital Equipment Fund 250, Dept./Agency 015, Organization 2109, Object E956.
In 1989, the City of Duluth replaced their 170 lever voting machines, that were acquired in the 20's and 30's, with the Optec III optical scan voting units. Up to 1989, voting technology had not changed significantly. Since then, as in many areas, computerization has significantly changed the way voting can be done.
Now, after 10 years, there is higher maintenance costs because major parts need to be replaced. To insure that no major problems arise on election days, it is now necessary to do this maintenance which will cost approximately $35,000 to $40,000.
The state of Minnesota has issued a state contract for the acquisition of voting equipment. Currently Hennepin County is acquiring 550 units and other jurisdictions that purchase at this time, are being allowed to come under the quantity pricing that is being given for that size of purchase. Under this pricing, the City's cost would be approximately $200,000, which is approximately $50,000 less, than what the City would normally be expecting to pay.
As can be seen by the Federal governments experiment with Internet voting for this year's Presidential primary election and that the private sector has already developed and utilized software for other forms of Internet voting, means that it is only a matter of time before states allow for this to happen. In addition, touch screen voting is already being used in some jurisdictions. It is believed that in the near future, communities will utilize what would be referred to as "integrated" voting systems, meaning that along with Internet voting and touch screen voting, communities will need to use in their polling places, units such as those proposed, which will be technologically compatible. Uncommitted funds under object E956 is $200,000 for the purchase of this equipment from available 1999 equipment bond sale dollars. Requisition No. 00-0142