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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Badgered by Trump Supporters, Stark Commissioners Now Concerned About County's Impending Purchase of Dominion Voting Machines

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 8:47 AM

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Trump supporters who believe in the utterly false claims peddled by the former president, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and a group of right wing media outlets that voting machines sold by Dominion Voting Systems had been hacked or intentionally switched votes in the 2020 presidential election are now badgering Stark County's Republican commissioners to back out of a deal to purchase new machines from the company, the Canton Repository reported last night.

The Stark County Board of Elections, after a yearslong search for the best option, settled in early December on purchasing from Dominion $6.45 million in new equipment — touch screen voting machines, optical ballot scanners, ballot printers, a server, among other items — to replace its old and aging systems.

The deal was especially good for the county since the state of Ohio would cover $3.27 million of the deal and Dominion would give a $1.71 million credit for the old machines.

Since then, however, the county's three Republican commissioners have gotten an earful from those who believe in the conspiracy theories touted by Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and various right-wing media outlets.

Dominion this week filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Giuliani for his repeated, baseless claims against the company. It's also filed similar lawsuits against lawyers Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, both of whom have worked for Trump. Outlets such as Newsmax, Fox News and OAN that had trafficked in the Dominion conspiracy theories issued on-air retractions or corrections after receiving letters from the company's lawyers.

Regardless, Stark County's commissioners have, for some reason, taken the concerns of those who have reached out spouting the same nonsense to heart and have scheduled a meeting next Tuesday with the Board of Elections to review the purchase.

"I’ve heard basically the same thing," commissioner Richard Regula told the Canton Repository. "That they believe the election was stolen from Trump and we should stand by Trump and the Dominion machines have been known to be hacked. It’s been the most calls I’ve ever received as a county commissioner. ... I had 17 voicemails in one day."

"[The Board of Elections] really aren't good on the communication end, and my job as a commissioner is to ask questions, listen to the evidence and I'll make my own decision," commissioner Janet Weir Creighton told the paper. "This is not about Donald Trump. This is about the voter integrity of the machines in Stark County."

"We just have a lot of question, I’m in no big rush until we get some answers,” Regula added when the paper asked about an already missed deadline to finalize the purchase of new machines for the May 4 primary election.

The Repository reported it's possible the commissioners couldn't stop the purchase since it's already been approved by the Board of Elections, but there was no firm answer yet on that issue.

Dominion's lawsuit against Giuliani cites extensive and repeated claims by the lawyer that the company argues were made in concert with other parties to enrich themselves and directly damage the company's reputation.

“Giuliani’s statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm,” the lawsuit reads.

The Stark County commissioners will meet with the Stark County Board of Elections on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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