GOSHEN — The final step has been taken to make voting centers a reality in this year's primary and general elections.
On Monday, March 31, the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners signed the final resolution to allow electronic poll book vendor Election Systems & Software (ES&S) to lease 155 poll books to the county for upcoming elections.
The total cost of services from ES&S is $240,420.40, according to the purchase order. That includes poll books, software, scanners, training sessions, shipping and annual software maintenance and support. The poll books are an integral part of the new vote centers that will replace precinct voting locations.
"It'll be a couple of years before we realize the savings we've been quoting, but we knew there would be an upfront cost to get there," Wendy Hudson, county clerk, told the commissioners.
The Elkhart County Election Board awarded the contract to ES&S in late February after reviewing offers from five other vendors. According to the resolution signed Monday, ES&S was the only bidder that could most likely meet the election board's expectations to cost-effectively carry out this year's primary and general elections.
The order is being leased by the county through Government Capital Corporation, with three annual payments of $86,997.13.
The equipment is expected to arrive this week.