• Orange Co. wants to sell unused voting machines


    Officials said Orange County officials bought more than $350,000 worth of voting machines, but they can't use them.

    In 2006, the county was required to buy 305 touch screen units for voters with disabilities, but also purchased 105 regular touch screen machines.

    "We didn't have to buy them then, but we thought that was the future. So we were going to integrate them in early voting," said Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles.

    In 2008, Gov. Charlie Crist changed the law to only allow paper ballots.

    Now, the county said it's trying to sell the 105 machines, but may only get back a fraction of the original cost.

    "We were extremely surprised when the vendor came to us and said we'd like to buy them back at $250 a unit," Cowles said.

    Cowles said even a little money is better than nothing.

    "The counties that went 100% touch screen, the best they could find was a scrap metal shop in Tampa, so yes this is a great deal," Cowles said.

    Officials said the company buying the machines will break them down for parts.

    They said there will still be one touch screen available at each polling location for anyone with a disability who may need it.

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