County Clerk’s Office Upgrades Voting System

voting

Washtenaw County has selected Hart InterCivic’s Verity Voting system to replace aging election equipment. The new equipment includes ballot tabulators, accessible devices for voters with disabilities, and election management software.

The state of Michigan has mandated and funded the replacement of all election equipment statewide. Each county clerk was required to select one of three certified voting systems.

“After research and helpful input from city and township clerks, my staff and I concluded that Hart’s system is the best choice to meet the needs of Washtenaw County voters, and the most adaptable to future changes in election administration,” explained Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds Larry Kestenbaum.

“The new system will continue to use optical scan paper ballots, which can always be recounted by hand,” he said. “The voting experience will change very little. Our ballots will look slightly different, with boxes on the left (in front of each name) instead of ovals on the right.”

“Hart’s system is secure, modern and user-friendly for voters and poll workers alike. It incorporates many recent recommendations of the Federal Election Assistance Commission,” said Washtenaw County Director of Elections Ed Golembiewski, “its features and functionality are state-of-the-art”.

Funding for all essential components and for service and maintenance for 5 years will be provided entirely by the State of Michigan through a combination of Federal Help America Vote Act and State-appropriated funds, which will be disbursed to county and local governments through grant awards.
Grant funding will provide one ballot tabulator per precinct, one accessible voting device per polling location, software for the county to program ballots and disseminate election results, certain accessories, and maintenance for five years.

The Verity Voting system offers Washtenaw County many advantages including:

— Robust security features such as encryption, two-factor authentication and redundant data storage to safeguard election results are incorporated in the devices and software.

— Intuitive and secure ballot programming and election night reporting software which will allow the County Elections Division to program ballots in-house, saving local jurisdictions the cost of a 3rd party vendor.

— User-friendly devices, with consistent, plain-language instructions for voters and poll workers. The system has the smallest footprint available, with briefcase-size, lightweight devices and sturdy collapsible ballot boxes that are easy to transport
Training for county and local election officials and poll workers will begin in late August or early September; voters will use Verity for the first time in November, 2017.

The information in this post was provided by Edward Golembiewski.

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