Richland County Council

Administration and Finance Committee

Joseph McEachern, Chair

Paul Livingston

Anthony G. Mizzell

Stephen F. Morris

James Tuten

District 7

District 4

District 11

District 8

District 2

Tuesday, October 3, 2000 5:00 PM
Richland County Council Chambers
County Administration Building
2020 Hampton Street

Special Called Meeting


Call To Order

Item for Action

  1. Approval of Purchase: Voting Machines


  Richland County Council Request of Action

Subject: Approval of Purchase

  1. Purpose
  2. The purpose of this request is to seek County Council approval to purchase 55 Microvote Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines.

  3. Background / Discussion
  4. Richland County Council is asked to approve the purchase of 55 voting machines based on the recent availability of used voting machines, the recent availability of funds for voting machines, and the established need for additional voting machines.

    The vendor who supplied Richland County with 100 used voting machines earlier this year has made available an additional 55 voting machines for purchase at $2,200.00 per machine (tax included), which is $110 less per machine than the previous purchase price. In addition to the availability of machines at a very reasonable price, the County has recently received reimbursement from the State for past purchases freeing up funds in the current budget that were designated for lease payments for the previous purchases.

    It should also be understood that there is a need for additional machines. Due to the increased number of registered voters and changes in South Carolina election laws, Richland County recently purchased 100 voting machines to bring the total number of voting machines owned by the County to 600. While the County now meets the legislative requirement for the minimum number of machines, which is based on population for each precinct, it is anticipated that the County Election Commission will probably be overburdened in the upcoming election. The potential for problems is due to two circumstances. First, the number of voters in rapidly growing areas in the northeastern and northwestern areas of Richland County have in recent elections exceeded projections, causing long lines and frustrating voters. In addition, these areas tend to have a higher voter turnout, which compounds the problem of long lines. Second, public referendum items generate more interest during elections. With the state lottery item on the ballot this year, voter turnout is expected to be very high. Long lines have been a consistent criticism in recent elections, which discourages voters. We now have the opportunity to assure voters in Richland County that voting will not be a burden.

    Richland County has the opportunity to purchase used machines and the County will save money by purchasing used machines. However, as with the last purchase, the costs associated with this purchase do not include possible increased maintenance costs associated with purchasing used, rather than new, equipment. The machines, though, will be inspected and upgraded by the vender prior to completion of the transaction.

    Also, it should be understood that this request is contingent upon the completion of the required procurement process to assure that any other vendor has the opportunity to respond and offer a fair bid to provide the service.

  5. Financial Impact
  6. Funds for this purchase are available in the current budget and no additional funding is requested.

Number of Machines
Price per machine
Sales tax


  1. Alternatives

    1. Approve the request to purchase 55 used Microvote DRE voting machines contingent upon completion of required procurement process.
    2. Do not approve

  1. Recommendation

Given the opportunity to purchase the 55 used voting machines and the established need, it is recommended that County Council approve this request contingent upon proper adherence to procurement requirements. This purchase could greatly enhance the ability of the Richland County Election Commission to efficiently and effectively administer the upcoming election.

Recommended By: Milton Pope, Assistant County Administrator Date: 10/2/00

  1. Approvals

Election Commission

Approved by: Michael Cinnamon Date: 10-2-00



Approved by: Darren Gore Date: 10-3-00

Comments: Capital Lease Principal Acct. #1690.5298, Balance = $271,146.00


Approved by: Rodolfo A. Callwood Date: 10-3-00



Approved by: Larry C. Smith Date: 10-3-00



Approved by: J. Milton Pope Date: 10-3-00