Defiance County’s board of elections office will be receiving more than $500,000 for new voting equipment.

County commissioners announced Monday in a news release concerning their regular meeting that they’ve received notice that $550,116.61 will be provided by the state for the upgrade. The county’s original estimate for new voting equipment was about $970,000.

However, the county board of elections office is working to secure a new estimate. Office director Tonya Wichman noted several possible factors that may decrease the cost, such as working on pricing through the state, teaming with other counties on the purchase and a recent reduction in Defiance County polling stations that will slightly reduce the amount of voting equipment needed.

“We’re hoping to meet with commissioners later in the month with a new quote,” she said.

Commissioners will contribute what is not covered by state funds.

Asked if the county could be spared any cost, Wichman said “it’s probably unlikely at this point,” but added that “we’re hoping to significantly reduce the amount.”

The board of elections office’s plan is to install the new equipment in time for the 2019 May primary, according to Wichman.

State funds passed down to counties for voting equipment grades have been made possible by Ohio Senate Bill 135, which the Ohio General Assembly approved this year.

In other business, commissioners:

• received a quarterly update from Defiance County Family and Children First coordinator Julie Voll.

• met with Engineer Warren for his weekly report.

He reported on the widening of Moser Road, between Brandt and Nagel roads, and noted that the intersection of Highland Center, Fruit Ridge and Watson roads in Ayersville is being prepared for repaving.

• received an update on legal issues from Prosecutor Morris Murray.

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