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Micro-Vote vs. Optical Voting Machines
by Ashley Murphy

Monday, January11, 2009

Opening Monday's County Commission work session was Milan Blake with a presentation from the Election Commission Office. The presentation was regarding voting machines currently being used for local elections and optical voting machines that the State is wanting to switch to.

Bradley County currently spends approximately $40,000 per election using the micro-vote electronic voting machines. Switching to optical voting machines could cost an estimated $49,000 more than what Bradley County is now paying. The State of Tennessee would incur all costs for Bradley to obtain the machines alone, but additional printing, storage and employees drive up costs.

Since 2002, Bradley County has spent $380,550 on micro-vote machines and if the county switches to optical machines, the current machines would simply be discarded.

Commissioner Brian Smith placed a motion to delay optical voting machines in Bradley County on the agenda and it will be voted on at the next commission meeting on Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

Commissioner Howard Thompson raised concerns over the Ocoee rockslide on Highway 64. Clean-up crews are now extending the final date to March. Thompson believes the State should get more involved to help citizens in the communities effected by, at least, placing signs along I-75 and other major highways leading to Highway 64 to save motorists time and money. Many people drive out to where the road is blocked, only to be turned around and sent on a lengthy detour.