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Some find fault with new Delaware voting system selection process

Some say the First State could have been more transparent in selecting its new voting system.

Voting rights advocates complain the state had already chosen a vendor weeks before releasing the identity of all the bidders and their proposals.

Jennifer Hill of Common Cause Delaware said they requested bid information in February, but the Office of Management and Budget declined to release it. Even though the Attorney General’s Office sided with Common Cause in May, it wasn’t released until the end of July.

“You know, they effectively had decided which vendor they wanted already and yet the public was not allowed to know any of that information,” she said.

The contract to buy new voting machines heads to the Joint Capital Improvement Committee for a vote Monday.

That’s because of language State Sen. Bryan Townsend inserted into the bond bill that passed earlier this year.

That language also required the public hearing earlier this week where a task force gave its approval to buy machines from Election Systems and Software.

Townsend said state officials and lawmakers should try to be more responsive to the public on election issues.

“In the current political climate, it’s very important to be as transparent as possible as quickly as possible and I just have a hard time believing that we did our best job in this instance," he said.

A spokesman for the OMB says it supports Townsend’s language in the bond bill requiring the approval by both the task force and bond bill committee prior to executing the contract.

The final contract could cost up to $13 million.

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