By Michael P. Buffer
WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County wants a warranty for another three years on touch-screen voting machines bought last year, but “the price is not right,” Director of Elections Leonard Piazza said Tuesday.
Election Systems & Software wants the county to pay between $275,000 and $322,000 for a three-year warranty, Piazza said. The county last year spent $2.4 million in federal money to buy 750 ES&S machines, and a one-year warranty has either expired or will expire this year.
The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania is trying to resolve the cost issue with ES&S for Luzerne County and 32 other counties in the state, Piazza said.
ES&S spokeswoman Amanda Brown said company prices reflect “the cost of providing quality elections systems and services.”
Piazza didn’t attend Tuesday’s board of elections meeting because he was involved in a conference call about the warranty issue.
During the meeting, Commissioner Rose Tucker was named board chairwoman. Tucker, who replaced Todd Vonderheid as a commissioner last month, will succeed Vonderheid as chair of the board of elections.
Also during the meeting, Walter Griffith, the Republican nominee for Wilkes-Barre City Council’s District A seat, asked the board to request an investigation by the district attorney’s office into Democratic nominee Rick Cronauer’s campaign finances.
Griffith alleges Cronauer reported erroneous and inconsistent campaign finance reports, and he said letting Cronauer amend mistakes without a penalty sets a bad precedent.
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