Thanks to a couple of potential offers from Ector and Henderson Counties, Young County may be a little closer to having one of the most cutting-edge election equipment packages in the country.

With just two weeks left on a month-long extension granted to Young County by Hart Intercivic, a state-of-the-art election equipment package that Elections Administrator Lauren Sullivan has pitched five times as of Monday morning just became much more attractive to county officials.

“It’s amazing what happens when you don’t take the first quote on things,” said Commissioner Jimmy Wiley.

According to Sullivan, Ector County made a bid of about $125,000 for several pieces of Young County’s current election equipment. Added to Henderson County’s initial offer to purchase another $25,000 in Young County equipment, what was first projected at a cost of $78,000 per year over a five year finance package could now drop down to $38,000.

“If we can’t get this contract signed by July 31, we would be looking at a minimum of $129,000 increase in price,” Sullivan told the court Monday.

Back in June, a 60 month finance agreement after discounts and early-purchase considerations would have cost Young County approximately $67,000 per year. According to County Auditor Cheryl Roberts, that amounted to an expenditure of about .006 percent of an average yearly Young County budget. Should the offers from Ector and Henderson Counties come to fruition, that yearly figure would drop substantially.

“When we started this, Ms. Sullivan, we were at a price that I was not prepared to pay,” Commissioner Mike Sipes said. He added that now the price is much more lucrative.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.