Guest post from the Conservative Brief – A county in the battleground state of Ohio has rejected purchasing electronic Dominion voting machines after citizens blasted the decision.
The Board of Stark County Commissioners was set to spend upwards of $6.45 million on 1,400 machines to upgrade existing systems, but members decided against the purchase after county residents raised a ruckus.
The rejection comes on the heels of a highly controversial election last fall in which the campaign of Donald Trump and his allies charged that Dominion machines were manipulated to take votes from him and give them instead to his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in enough battleground states to lose the election.
Tens of millions of Trump’s backers believed the reports and as such have become staunch opponents of all electronic balloting.
Notes the Washington Examiner:
Constituents voicing issues with purchasing new Dominion machines “far exceeded the response any of us have received on any topic to come before our board,” Commissioner Bill Smith said in February. Smith, along with Commissioners Janet Weir Creighton and Richard Regula, all Republicans, unanimously rejected the purchase of Dominion equipment.
After the country budget director reviewed the offers by Dominion and a competitor, Elections Systems and Software, the board went back to EES, and it made an offer for $143,262 less than the Dominion deal, according to the Cleveland Scene.
That said, some county Republicans have rejected the notion that all electronic balloting is bad.
Stark County Board of Elections director Jeff Matthews, who also heads up the county’s GOP, referenced “an era of misinformation” that he says fed “the great lie” about the 2020 election.
“Refusing to recognize that this election was safe, secure, and accurate can be viewed as nothing less than attacking the peaceful transfer of power,” he said. “It was our goal to make the best selection for the voters of Stark County in terms of security, ease of use, sound technology, and fiscal responsibility. And I think we achieved that goal.”
Pro-Trump groups waged a battle against approval of the Dominion machines, including Look Ahead America, a conservative organization consisting of former Trump staffers whose mission is to “register, educate, and enfranchise these disaffected citizens.”
After the Stark County Commission’s decision, the group praised it as “another victory against ‘black box’ voting equipment” in which “both the software and hardware are proprietary and the code that runs them is not available for public inspection.”
“The next step for Stark County is the need for public hearings on the dangers of black box voting equipment and the benefits of open-source alternatives for restoring faith in election integrity, lowering costs, and growing local jobs,” the group’s executive director, Matt Braynard, said on Thursday.
Stark County officials are not the only ones to reject Dominion systems in the wake of the 2020 election.
Officials in Lousiana have also said no to Dominion machines, killing what would have been a $100 million contract.