Commissioners move forward with wells at I-70

Tim Ward, director of the Madison County Board of Elections, spoke to county commissioners Monday about the poll books that were tested in the last election.

Layne of Middletown submitted the only bid for drilling two wells on soon-to-be county property north of Interstate 70, directly across from the truck stop.

The county’s provision of water for existing and new businesses in the Interstate 70/U.S. Route 42 area has moved one more step closer to turning on the tap.

Madison County commissioners on Monday opened the single bid for drilling two wells on the 37.6 acres the commission intends to buy from the Archdiocese of Columbus.

The bid, submitted by Layne of Middletown, was $63,960. It was the only bid submitted.

A test well had been drilled on the property — located across the street from the TravelCenters of America truck stop — and it produced the desired volume of 300 gallons per minute, said Commissioner David Dhume.

A geologic study revealed a heavy concentration of limestone, which produces a good-quality liquid, he said.

Commissioners said they will move forward with the purchase of the tract for a price of $357,428.

In other business, Tim Ward, director of the Madison County Board of Elections (BOE), said the BOE’s test of two signature registration poll books has revealed a clear winner: the poll book produced by KnoInk.

Ward said all signatures, which were taken by sliding the voter’s driver’s license through a reader, were 100 percent legible.

“Phenomenal,” Ward added.

The KnoInk product was tested against a Toshiba poll book, which had 16.8 percent of the signatures it recorded to be illegible.

Ward said one of the values of the poll book is the time savings it provides. A standard sign-in, with the poll worker looking up the person’s name and then having the voter sign his/her name, takes approximately three minutes. With the electronic poll book, sign-in was reduced to less than 30 seconds.

Ward said there are other poll book products the BOE would also like to test.

“The board will decide,” said Ward about $12 million statewide for upgrades of the poll books. It will bear 85 percent of the expense, while each county board of election will pay 15 percent.

The Madison County BOE will need 27 poll books, with an estimated cost of between $1,500 and $2,500 per unit.

Ward said also sorting voters alphabetically rather than by precinct also sped up the process.

“All the machines talk to each other and it evens out the lines,” Ward said.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley