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Program B: Voting Machines

Program Authorization: La. Constitution, Article IV, Sec. 12; R.S. 36:661, R.S. 18:16-21; R.S. 18:31; R.S. 18:55-64; and R.S. 18:1400.2-1400.6; LAC 31:III.Chapter 7; and LAC 31:III.Chapter 9

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Voting Machine Program is to have all voting equipment available for use on election day and to ensure voters can cast their vote, even if they cannot vote in person on election day.

The goal of the Voting Machine Program is to provide equipment to hold efficient and honest elections.

The Voting Machine Program was created in the late 1940s to meet the challenge to provide honest, efficient, and uniform voting procedures in Louisiana. This program supports national, state, local, and special elections. To meet the program's goal, the department regularly performs preventative maintenance of all equipment. This ensures that Louisiana's voting equipment is kept at a high level of readiness at all times.

The Voting Machine Program includes the following activities: Absentee Ballot Section and Field Maintenance Section. The Absentee Ballot Section activity is responsible for programming and maintaining all absentee ballot equipment in the state. The Field Maintenance Section activity is responsible for maintaining, storing, and programming all mechanical and electronic voting machines in the state.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

1. In FY 1998-99, the Voting Machines Program will hold, in a state readiness, voting machines and computerized absentee ballot counting equipment and will provide necessary technical assistance and support to hold all elections in the state, with 95% of all voting equipment available on election day and the number of voting machines used per precinct allocated based on the legal allocation of 1 machine per 600 voters and modified by special circumstances.

1 Voting machines are allocated based upon the legal allocation of one machine per 600 voters, modified by special circumstances such as expected turnout, distance of precinct location for the warehouse, etc.

2 After the Congressional elections in 1998, the number of registered voters will decrease due to list maintenance procedures. The cost per registered voter will appear to increase dramatically but will actually be the artifact of the list maintenance procedure. Each time voter lists undergo this type of maintenance, the new voter registration figure becomes a baseline performance level against which subsequent voter registration figures may be compared.

2. In FY 1998-99, the Voting Machines Program will perform, at a minimum, semiannual preventative maintenance on all voting machines and all absentee ballot counting equipment and reduce machine-related service calls due to programming error to 5%.

1 Many service calls on election days are not related to machine maintenance or programming errors. This indicator measures the service calls requiring mechanics to service machines on election days (as a percentage of all voting machines utilized on election days) and is a measure of the quality and outcome of preventative maintenance and accuracy of programming.

3. In FY 1998-99, the Voting Machines Program will enable absentee returns to be more accurately and quickly tabulated by preparing and distributing test materials 10 days prior to election day for 100% of the parishes having an election and providing support for the Parish Boards of Elections Supervisors in tabulating the vote.

4. In FY 1998-99, the Voting Machines Program plans to eliminate all of the nonprinting mechanical voting machines in the state and move from mechanical to computerized voting machines in the large metropolitan areas of the state as part of ongoing efforts to investigate new technology and incorporate new technology (as it becomes certified) into Louisiana's election system.

1 The following parishes have received the new AVC Advantage electronic voting machines: Acadia, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, and West Baton Rouge. The following parishes will be upgraded in FY 1998-99: Ascension, Bossier, East Feliciana, Lafayette, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Rapides, St. Bernard, St. Landry, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa.

Explanatory Note: This plan is contingent upon the approval of the department's capital outlay request or LEAF funding. The key indicators for FY 1998-99 have been left at current year levels due to the uncertainty of funding.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded with state general fund.

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$3,842,858

$3,842,858

63

 

ACT 18 FISCAL YEAR 1997-1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$0

$0

0

 

None

 

 

 

 

 

$3,842,858

$3,842,858

63

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET - December 10, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

($15,200)

($15,200)

0

 

Equipment/Major Repairs Adjustment(s) (Nonrecurring: -$15,200)

$152

$152

0

 

Annualization of 1997-'98 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

$34,110

$34,110

0

 

1998 -'99 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

$17,146

$17,146

0

 

Attrition Adjustment(s)

($9,168)

($9,168)

0

 

Retirement Rate Adjustment(s)

($45,033)

($45,033)

0

 

Reductions in various Expenditure Categories; Including Reductions to fully fund Salaries

 

 

 

 

 

$3,824,865

$3,824,865

63

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

($17,993)

($17,993)

0

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 99.5% of the existing operating budget. It represents 94.8% of the total request ($4,052,497) for this program. The decreased funding is primarily due to reductions in various expenditure categories to fully fund salaries.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

This program does not have funding for Professional Services for Fiscal Year 1998-1999.

OTHER CHARGES

This program does not have funding for Other Charges for Fiscal Year 1998-1999.

ACQUISTIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

.This program does not have funding for Acquisitions and Major Repairs for Fiscal Year 1998-1999.


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