In a letter sent to the Board of Public Works, MACo raises concerns with the approval of a contract for a new voting system. There has been much discussion about the new system in recent weeks. Governor O’Malley indicated during a MPT interview that he has heard from county governments that implementation of the system should be delayed because of time constraints and the cost during tough budget times. A recent Gazette article indicated that the cost could keep the system from moving forward.
An excerpt from MACo’s letter is below.
While the policy debate leading to the potential purchase of these machines has stretched on for some time, this contract approval represents a timely opportunity for the Board to assess both the propriety and effectiveness of this substantial expenditure of State and county funds. MACo believes that the contract for these voting systems should be rejected, on grounds of affordability, effectiveness, and administrative implementation.
At a time when governments are facing the hardest fiscal challenges in memory, committing such massive funds to replace fully functional and effective voting systems cannot be the State’s top priority. Furthermore, the proposed purchase of materials for a “hybrid” system does not even accomplish the stated goals of the many who have advocated for a paper ballot system. Combine these aspects with the uncertainty about administration, legality, and looming federal action – the contract pending the Board’s approval should be rejected.