Stark County in Ohio rejected the purchase of more than 1,400 new Dominion Voting Systems machines after local residents rallied against them.
Following the 2020 general election, former President Donald Trump and his allies claimed Dominion machines altered votes despite audits and recounts in several states and counties that used the technology, allegations which have been denied by the company and roundly rejected by the courts.
Still, the effect of their campaign against the technology appears to be taking tangible form, as the Board of Stark County Commissioners voted on Wednesday to go through with a $6.45 million equipment order to replace its old hardware from the vendor, which would be partially covered by the state and trade-in value, rejecting a recommendation by the county’s board of elections.
Constituents voicing issues with purchasing new Dominion machines “far exceeded the response any of us have received on any topic to come before our board,” Commissioner Bill Smith said in February. Smith, along with Commissioners Janet Weir Creighton and Richard Regula, all Republicans, unanimously rejected the purchase of Dominion equipment.
After the country budget director reviewed the offers by Dominion and a competitor, Elections Systems and Software, the board went back to EES, and it made an offer for $143,262 less than the Dominion deal, according to the Cleveland Scene.
Jeff Matthews, the director of the Stark County Board of Elections and chairman of the county’s Republican Party, cited “an era of misinformation” that has fed into “the great lie” about the election, according to a report from the Repository last month.
“Refusing to recognize that this election was safe, secure and accurate can be viewed as nothing less than attacking the peaceful transfer of power,” he said. “It was our goal to make the best selection for the voters of Stark County in terms of security, ease of use, sound technology, and fiscal responsibility. And I think we achieved that goal.”
Look Ahead America, a right-wing grassroots group made up of former Trump campaign staffers with a mission to “register, educate, and enfranchise these disaffected citizens,” waged a campaign encouraging the public to oppose the purchase of new Dominion machines. The group celebrated the decision in Stark County as “another victory against ‘black box’ voting equipment” in which “both the software and hardware are proprietary and the code that runs them is not available for public inspection.”