The Leon County elections office turns over a half million dollars in grant money to the state of Florida, a penalty for failing to comply with the Help America Vote Act.
The January 31 deadline was not met after Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says the company ES&S pulled out of a deal to sell the county 160 machines. Leon is the only Florida county not in compliance.
Sancho says he is in negotiations with one of the three companies certified by the state of Florida to provide voting equipment that's accessible for the disabled.
He expects a deal to be sealed by the time he goes before the board of county commissioners on February 28. Commissioners gave him a two week deadline to make the deal during Tuesday night's regular commission meeting.
Ion Sancho says, “Unfortunately that will deprive the citizens of a 100percent verifiable paper trail, but the state is not allowing us any option and this will, I predict, continue as an issue of contention between citizens and state government for years to come."
As for the loss of the $564,000 in grant money, Leon County commissioners say they will try to lobby the state to get it back.