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Benton County officials OK new voting machines


The cost to the county could be as much as $600,000 over 10 years if the state doesn't pay for all of the maintenance contracts.


BENTONVILLE -- Benton County's justices of the peace agreed Tuesday to pay $2.25 million for new voting equipment.

The Finance Committee voted unanimously to send the proposal for the voting machines to the Committee of the Whole at that panel's meeting, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Tom Allen, justice of the peace and chairman of the Finance Committee, said the county needs to resolve the question quickly. He said the prospect of obtaining state money to buy the equipment has disappeared, but the state is still offering to pay for maintenance agreements on any equipment bought now.

That assistance might not be available if the county delays buying half of the equipment, as was once considered. Kim Dennison, election coordinator, said the cost to the county could be as much as $600,000 over 10 years if the state doesn't pay for all of the maintenance contracts. Read more.

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