ROCKPORT, Texas, Jan. 31, 2018 – Aransas County, an area battered by Hurricane Harvey last summer, is replacing its damaged voting system with the most up-to-date technology available in the U.S. in time for the March 6 election. Delivery of the Verity® Voting system started within days of the County Commissioners’ Jan. 22 vote, thanks to a long and supportive relationship with election partner Hart InterCivic.
Elections Administrator Michele Bennett praised Hart for their help preparing the County for the upgrade and fast-tracking testing and training to prepare for early voting, which begins Feb. 20. “I’ve worked in elections for 11 years (including in another county), and I didn’t feel comfortable with anyone else.”
“The fact that the company is based in Texas was a huge deciding factor. Knowing that we can call Hart and they can get help to us in a matter of hours is very comforting,” she said.
“Aransas County will not miss a beat in implementing Verity for their upcoming election,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
“The County has endured an emotionally catastrophic event because of Hurricane Harvey, and as their election partner since 2005, we are privileged to help in their recovery. Our team is in place, and with Verity’s long product life, Aransas County residents can be confident in their elections for many years to come,” he said.
Verity is a federally and state certified system designed from the ground up to be flexible, easy to use and secure with all new hardware and software. It is designed and manufactured in Texas.
Bennett is looking forward to the efficiencies that Verity will provide for her office, such as faster ballot preparation and less programming work between elections and runoffs. She also appreciates that the compact, lightweight Verity Voting equipment is easy to store and to transport to Vote Centers.
She predicts voters will embrace Verity’s user-friendly, intuitive touchscreen. “Even our older voters are familiar with touchpads, and they will like the option to enlarge text for reading the ballot.” Bennett also pointed out the advantage of the system’s lightweight, removable tablet for curbside voting. Verity’s accessibility features accommodate all voters, including those with disabilities.
Aransas County, with about 17,000 registered voters, joins a growing number of Texas jurisdictions moving to Verity. Since the Texas Secretary of State certified the latest release of the system in late 2016, Hart has shipped more than 7,000 Verity devices across Texas. Federally certified in 2015, the secure and efficient system is also in use in numerous counties throughout the U.S.
Bennett is optimistic about the County’s ongoing recovery.
“We needed the Verity upgrade for the voters of Aransas County,” Bennett said. “We’ve been through a lot.”
“One of the things that led to us getting Verity was the hurricane, but we are coming out ahead. We need to look past the devastation and focus on the good things that are happening. Every day, more improvements happen. We’re just going to keep going forward.”
Braithwaite expects more Texas and national announcements throughout 2018.
Learn more about Verity in Texas: https://www.hartintercivic.com/texas/.