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STL County election officials pick new voting machines

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County plans to buy new electronic voting machines from the same company that supplied its old punch card machines. The Board of Election Commissioners today (Wednesday) selected Election Systems and Software to provide optical scan and touch-screen equipment.

Commission chair John Diehl says the county has had a good relationship with the firm. "I believe you put a premium on what you know. We've had a relationship with ES&S for 30 years. In fact the gentlemen who's now selling us the ES&S system is the same gentleman who installed our punch card system 30 years ago." Diehl says the new equipment will probably be in service by the April election. Next year voters will have a choice between the touch screen machines and a paper optical-scan ballot.

The federal government is providing all of the money for the equipment. It's expected to cost nearly 10 (M) million dollars. This week St. Louis city officials chose Diebold to supply similar machines.