CHARLESTON, W. Va., Dec. 17, 2020 – West Virginia counties ready to upgrade election systems have a new option to consider: Hart InterCivic’s Verity® Voting, known for its trustworthy technology and reliable customer support. The State Election Commission, chaired by Secretary of State Mac Warner, unanimously certified Verity for purchase in West Virginia during December’s regular meeting. Certification assures jurisdictions that Verity has met the rigorous testing that the state demands.
“Hart is excited to introduce Verity to West Virginia, where counties are no longer locked into a single vendor. Stakeholders deserve options and they will appreciate the advantages that Verity offers,” said Julie Mathis, CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
“Verity is the voting system of choice for a growing number of jurisdictions across the country, and 98 percent of customers who switched from another vendor gave Hart’s service the highest satisfaction rating in our most recent customer survey,” she said. “We are eager to show West Virginia’s voters an easier, more trustworthy experience.”
Verity supports options so that jurisdictions can tailor to their preferred voting methods. Many choose a hand-marked paper ballot system than incorporates Verity Scan and Touch Writer. Also available is Verity Duo, a hybrid voting device combining the ease of a touchscreen with the assurance of a paper trail. Verity Duo is the only hybrid solution on the market that counts votes directly from a human-readable printed summary, not from a barcode that only a machine can read. Many jurisdictions have requested this functionality from trusted partner Hart.
A leader in the elections industry, Hart has developed deep expertise in helping jurisdictions of all sizes safely and efficiently transition from outdated voting equipment to reliable, modern solutions. Hart has gained a reputation as a trusted partner for high-challenge implementations with a proven track record of success. Hart voting systems are currently in use in more than 700 jurisdictions across 19 states.
In addition to Verity’s easy-to-audit paper trail, Verity includes best-in-industry security protocols, such as trust listing, encryption, two-factor authentication and redundant data storage to safeguard the sanctity of the vote.
From a practical standpoint, Verity is known as a user-friendly system for voters and election officials. Poll workers appreciate the ease of storing, transporting and setting up Verity’s compact, lightweight polling place devices.
Verity’s proven digital scanning solution securely handles all forms of paper ballots, including by-mail, on demand, early voting, Election Day and at vote centers.
Ultimately, election officials will like Verity’s flexible hardware and software approach that adapts as needs change by supporting in-person paper voting, in-person electronic voting, vote centers and by-mail voting.
“Verity is built for the future and flexible enough to adapt to changing demands,” Mathis said. “Some counties want touchscreens; some want paper ballots; some want the best of both. Our technology delivers on all levels.”
Verity is increasingly the preferred system as counties across the U.S. replace aging voting machines. Mathis expects strong interest to follow the certification and urges election officials to explore Verity’s efficient, reliable and secure voting solution.
Washington, DC – The members of Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Assistant Director Bob Kolasky, U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Benjamin Hovland, National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) President Maggie Toulouse Oliver, National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) President Lori Augino, and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford – and the members of the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) – Chair Brian Hancock (Unisyn Voting Solutions), Vice Chair Sam Derheimer (Hart InterCivic), Chris Wlaschin (Election Systems & Software), Ericka Haas (Electronic Registration Information Center), and Maria Bianchi (Democracy Works) – released the following statement:
“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.
“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.
“Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020.
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”
September 28, 2020
With less than 36 days before the 2020 Presidential election, the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (EI-SCC) would like to echo and amplify a critical message to the American public recently made by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with state and local election officials from every state in the nation, regarding the need for patience as election officials process ballots, count votes, and determine the outcome of elections in their states.
Election officials are working harder than ever this year to accommodate safe voting practices during the ongoing COVID 19 crisis, including making preparations to count a larger than usual number of mail ballots. More mail ballots will mean that additional time is required in many localities to physically process the ballots, as several states do not allow processing of these ballots to begin until Election Day. In addition, many states allow ballots to be received and counted after November 3, so long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
Results reported on Election Night, whether in a presidential election or otherwise, are always unofficial results. Media outlets and other organizations often project election results the same day, using unofficial vote tallies. In reality, individual State processes for verifying every ballot for the certified result can take up to 30 days, even under normal circumstances.
As CISA Director Christopher C. Krebs told event attendees at the Black Hat Information Security Conference earlier this year, delayed results will be a sign of careful counting — not of nefarious motives and widespread fraud.
The EI-SCC Executive Committee strongly reiterates this message and encourages the voting public to exercise patience and allow the official vote tallying and certification processes play out as intended in every State. Remember to rely on state and local election officials as your trusted sources for official election results.
2020 EI-SCC Executive Committee
Brian Hancock, Chair (Unisyn Voting Solutions)
Sam Derheimer, Vice Chair (Hart InterCivic)
Ericka Haas, (ERIC) Maria Bianchi, (Democracy Works)
Chris Wlaschin, (ES&S)
About the EI-SCC
The Election Infrastructure Subsector Coordinating Council (EI SCC) for private sector election providers was established in February 2018 to advance the physical security, cyber security, and emergency preparedness of the nation’s election infrastructure. The Council consists of over thirty companies and nonprofits responsible for developing, deploying, protecting and defending our nation’s critical voting infrastructure. SCC members provide key components to the functioning of elections, such as voter registration, tabulation, election night results reporting, and ballot printing. With support and sponsorship of the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), SCC members work in collaboration with state and local elections authorities to plan, prepare, and share vital information critical to the conduct of elections.
When Texas voters in Gray, McCulloch and Motley counties go to the polls this Fall, they will be casting their ballots using the most up-to-date, secure election system, Verity® Voting from Texas-based Hart InterCivic. Hart is a long-time election partner in these jurisdictions and has earned the trust of election officials seeking efficient, reliable transitions.
“There was no question about staying with Hart for our new system,” said Gray County Elections Administrator Randa Hiett. “Their customer service has always been wonderful.”
“I’m looking forward to a smooth transition,” she added. “They always go above and beyond. When I came on board (in 2018) they sent someone to be on the ground with me for my first election. That didn’t have to happen, but it earned my confidence and respect.”
Motley County choose to switch to paper ballots using Verity. “We’re going to have a lot of happy voters. They will love it,” said County and District Clerk Lindsey Aldrich. The change from electronic voting is supported by a grant from the Secretary of State’s office, and Aldrich said that Hart was always the main contender for a new system. “We have such a good relationship with Hart, we never seriously considered another vendor.”
McCulloch County Clerk Christine Jones, who has worked with Hart election systems since 2005, echoed that decision. “We heard from other vendors, but there was never really any competition. Hart customer service has been excellent, even with two minutes notice or after 12 at night. Everyone I talk to is knowledgeable and helpful.”
“We are proud to continue working with these counties, and appreciate relationships that go back at least 15 years,” said Julie Mathis, CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions. “These are smaller counties, but the relationships are genuine. Hart is growing, but no partner is left behind.” Gray has about 12,000 registered voters, while McCulloch counts about 6,000 registered voters and Motley has less than 1,000.
All three counties take delivery of their new Verity equipment in August and will begin training election staff immediately. “We understand that the new process will be smoother and faster, from preparing ballots to closing out on Election Night,” said Aldrich, who has worked with election systems for about four years. “Our workers are excited and anxious to learn.”
Gray County has chosen a touchscreen version of Verity and Hiett expects an easy transition with Hart’s help. “Nobody loves change, but I’m not worried.” She’s impressed by what she’s heard from nearby Randall County which upgraded to Verity in 2017. “Randall loves it. They are a lot bigger, and their opinion means a lot to me.”
McCulloch County will be switching to a paper ballot system and Jones expects voters to be pleased. “It’s easy to use and our citizens want to be able to verify their votes. The paper trail system is the way to go.”
More Texas announcements are pending and Verity is also gaining momentum as the system of choice for counties across the U.S. preparing for the Fall elections. Verity’s uniquely flexible hardware and software approach means the system appeals to forward-looking jurisdictions seeking adaptable solutions. Verity supports in-person paper voting, in-person electronic voting, hybrid voting, vote centers and by-mail voting to respond to individual jurisdiction needs.
“Verity was born and bred in Texas,” Mathis said. “It is a versatile election system with state-of-the-art hardware and software designed in Austin and based on input from officials across the state, as well as other election experts nationwide.”
“There is no better choice for Texas voters than Verity,” she said.
Aldrich agrees. “The support is the best in the world. I can call anytime to talk about our ballots or other needs. They treat me like a friend, not like some unknown customer just paying a bill.”
“Hart lives up to their reputation,” added Jones. “They are trustworthy and their focus on customer satisfaction shows in their willingness to help us at every step. If you are looking for a new system, let Hart know exactly what you want. They can tailor a system to get you there.”
As counties across Texas upgrade election systems, a growing number are choosing secure, user-friendly Verity® Voting from Texas-based Hart InterCivic. Many are sticking with longtime partner Hart based on strong satisfaction with customer service and a history of reliable, trustworthy voting.
Others, like new partner Hill County, are switching to Hart from a previous vendor because of Verity’s readable paper trail and user-friendly approach.
“Hart fit the bill better,” said Hill County Election Administrator Aaron Torres. “The competitor lacks a true, verifiable paper trail – it reads from a barcode. With Verity, voters see their choices before the entire paper ballot is scanned—not just a code. That builds confidence.”
“Verity was highly recommended, and our commissioners and staff were impressed with the demos. It was time to shake things up and go with a new vendor,” said Torres, who has worked with County election systems for 13 years.
“Our old ES&S system dated from 2005 and looking ahead there were concerns about reliability and possible hacking. Voter feedback showed a lack of faith.”
In Deaf Smith County, election officials are eager to continue working with Hart as they switch to Verity.
“Hart customer service has always been top-notch and that makes my job easier,” said Deaf Smith County Clerk Rachel Garman, who relied on Hart when she took office in January 2019. “Hart was here for me as a brand-new clerk. Everyone went above and beyond to be helpful – 110%. Three elections later, they still do.”
“That’s the best reason to choose Hart again; help is readily available from programming ballots to sales to customer support and those answering phones on election night. My confidence in Hart is huge.”
Deaf Smith will use Verity Duo, a hybrid choice supported by a grant from the Secretary of State’s office. “It was time to upgrade. Our technology was still reliable but getting older. Verity’s workflow is similar to what we know and that makes it easy for voters and our staff.”
Verity Duo is a hybrid voting device that combines a touchscreen with a paper vote record available for recounts or audits. The printed ballot can be checked by voters before they feed it into a scanner that reads choices, not a barcode.
“We are super excited to make this transition with Hart for our November election. It could be a nerve-wracking journey, but I have no problem because I trust Hart to be there for the County. We’re not big, but when I call, they know my name. That kind of service eases my concerns. It almost feels like family.”
“Hart is so proud of this positive feedback about our customer service. We’ve built a century of success on our relationships,” said Julie Mathis, CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
“Our election partners want the most up-to-date, secure voting technology available and they deserve the most responsive customer service. We deliver both. Transitions can be complex, and we provide top-tier professional service to help customers adapt to new technology and processes.”
In Hill County, Torres will put the new Hart partnership to the test as they prepare for November. “We’ll be learning on the fly, but some of our workers have used Verity before and they say it will be easier. We have every confidence in the Hart system.”
Torres is also looking forward to the efficiency of the budget-friendly Verity ballot on-demand system they have chosen. “There are so many advantages. With print-on-demand ballots, we will not have to buy ballots from a printer. Zero waste and no leftovers to dispose of. Plus, we will be able to build the ballots ourselves and won’t have to wait on a vendor’s schedule,” he said, noting that Verity’s smaller footprint will save valuable storage space as well.
“I can’t wait to get my hands on this new technology. We will be ready to move to Vote Centers when the time is right.” Torres said.
“And don’t forget, Hart is Texas-based,” Torres added. “Verity was the best choice of our two options, but icing on the cake is dealing with a local company and a homegrown product.”
As Verity’s popularity grows in Texas, it is also gaining momentum as the system of choice for counties across the U.S. preparing for the Fall elections. Verity’s uniquely flexible hardware and software approach means the system appeals to forward-looking jurisdictions seeking adaptable solutions. Verity supports in-person paper voting, in-person electronic voting, hybrid voting, vote centers and by-mail voting to respond to individual jurisdiction needs.
“Verity was born and bred in Texas,” Mathis said. “We listen to our Texas partners and respond with better products and services. There is no better choice for Texas voters than Verity.
Request a Demo of Verity: 866-216-4278
AUSTIN Texas, March 30– As part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, Hart InterCivic has outlined its plan to support a growing demand for Vote by Mail operations throughout the country.
“COVID-19 has disrupted many facets of American life, but the importance of supporting this election season cannot be overstated. For many jurisdictions, that means scaling their Vote by Mail operations. Hart is here to offer our support to the greater elections community and provide options to ensure every American can cast a ballot, securely and safely,” said Julie Mathis, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic.
Some of the ways in which Hart is prepared to respond to increases in Vote by Mail volume include:
Increasing the available inventory of Vote by Mail Solutions to meet demand.
Utilizing technology to allow virtual training for customers’ Vote by Mail infrastructure and processes.
Leveraging our recurring webinar series to provide pertinent updates and details regarding the evolving election landscape and Vote by Mail operations.
Offering a range of flexible financing for unplanned expenditures, including purchasing, leasing and renting options to new and existing customers to connect them with the Vote by Mail solutions they require.
As the Vice Chair of the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), Hart continues to lead nationally. We’re working across the industry to coordinate informational and emergency preparedness materials that will assist local officials planning for upcoming elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hart is also working with state and federal officials to continue voting system certification efforts so that we can continue to provide jurisdictions with the most recent system upgrades.
“Hart InterCivic is committed to supporting our customers as they move quickly to adapt to changes in election timing and voting methods. We are updating our technology, service and financing options to meet our customers’ evolving needs, while ensuring we maintain the level of quality, responsiveness and professionalism our customers expect and deserve,” said Mathis. “We will get through this, together.”
Long-time election solution provider Hart InterCivic is helping jurisdictions manage efficient and safe elections amid rising concerns about public health.
“The sanctity of democracy depends on reliable, trustworthy elections and Hart is 100% committed to protecting the vote by keeping election officials, poll workers, and voters safe and secure,” said Julie Mathis, CEO of Hart InterCivic, a leading provider of election systems and support throughout the U.S.
“This challenging time demands a multi-faceted approach to safety and Hart is working individually with customers to provide guidance regarding cleaning voting equipment and reviewing polling place processes to keep poll workers and voters safe,” she said.
“Customer Service remains our top priority and we will maintain the level of service that our customers expect from Hart InterCivic, as well as ensure that we keep our people safe. At Hart, we are following prevention best practices from the CDC and local health officials, as well as adjusting work schedules and locations to minimize the risk of virus exposure to our team members.”
In addition to equipment safety recommendations, Hart is committed to working with counties that are considering process changes, such as new or additional Vote by Mail operations.
Hart’s expertise includes supporting transitions to the modern technology of Verity Central, now in use for by-mail and absentee ballot counting throughout the country.
Most recently, Orange County, California, with more than 1.6 million registered voters, efficiently tabulated its March 3 primary by-mail ballots hours before neighboring counties that used different systems.
“Orange County’s successful transition to Verity for by-mail voting is a benchmark for other jurisdictions – large or small – considering expanding their Vote by Mail operations. We are available to discuss county needs on a case-by-case basis,” Mathis said.
“Whether election officials are investigating expanded Vote by Mail services or dealing with the impacts of unexpected changes to election dates or polling locations, we are here to provide the technology and additional services to meet their needs.”
“These are uncertain times, but Hart has supported trustworthy elections for more than 100 years. We are determined to be a resource to the elections community in any way needed,” she said. “Safe and secure elections are vital.”
Verity Voting Systems from Hart InterCivic proved reliable and trustworthy across the United States as jurisdictions rolled out the modern paper-trail system for busy March primary elections.
“Verity delivered secure paper-trail voting, free of the headaches some other new systems introduced. Heavy voter turnout in large jurisdictions put Verity to the test, and it scored A-plus in voter confidence,” said Julie Mathis, CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
The flexible and reliable Verity system allowed several large jurisdictions to convert to convenient Vote Centers and to support secure paper-trail voting. Verity’s paper-trail does not rely on converting voter choices to controversial barcodes that cannot be verified by voters.
In California, Orange County reported turnout at heavy 2016 election levels with even higher mail-in ballot returns as they debuted countywide Vote Centers. With more than 3 million residents and 1.6 million registered voters, Orange County is the fifth largest voting jurisdiction in the United States
Officials saw no issues on Election Day with voters casting ballots in a new system, Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley told NBC News Los Angeles.
He also expected the new system to mean faster ballot counts. Kelley has served as Chief Election Officer since 2005 and has led the Registrar of Voters’ office through the largest cycle of elections in the County’s 130-year history.
At early morning stops at polling places in Ladera Ranch and Anaheim in Orange County, the Orange County Register found wait times shorter than one minute.
Voters were greeted by smiling guides who accepted their mail-in ballots or showed them to a booth where they could fill out a form and watch as it was entered into the database, the paper reported.
“It was a piece of cake,” Marc Winger of Ladera Ranch told a reporter. “Voting didn’t take any effort at all.”
In contrast, nearby Los Angeles County saw logjams and delays as they rolled out a new voting system with new Vote Centers.
The Los Angeles Times reported widespread complaints and outrage as voting problems caused some people to wait past midnight to cast ballots. Officials blamed the delays on a combination of high turnout and glitches affecting their new election equipment.
The Washington Post reported that about one-fifth of the county’s touchscreen voting machines did not work properly and had to be replaced, Los Angeles County spokesman Michael Sanchez said. He also said that network problems in multiple locations interfered with electronic poll books used to verify voter eligibility, forcing some voters to cast provisional ballots.
In Texas, where Verity is designed and manufactured, Tarrant County was the largest jurisdiction to vote using Verity Duo for the primary election. Duo is a hybrid system that combines the ease of touchscreen voting with the security of a paper trail. The flexible system enabled the County to debut Vote Centers last November. While the Verity equipment worked as expected, some voters experienced long lines because of the way voting machines were distributed by the County’s political parties.
Another large jurisdiction, Bexar County, experienced delays and technical difficulties with the debut of their new voting system from another vendor, KENS5 reported. Specifically, printers took 45 minutes to an hour to print due to issues with hardware and software. The ballots were also longer than usual with double the number of candidates.
“We did have some software issues throughout the evening, which held up the posting of the cumulative numbers, which include the election day voting numbers; early voting numbers and absentee voting,” Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen told KSAT.
In Brunswick County, which successfully piloted Verity in November, polling stations faced no major complications with the system.
Brunswick is a new Verity customer and uses a hand-marked paper ballot solution that, like all Verity solutions, does not embed voter selections in a barcode, ensuring 100% voter verifiability. Along with four other North Carolina jurisdictions, they recently chose to move to Hart and Verity for smoother, more secure elections for many years to come.
Verity’s functionality prevented any problem such as the miscounted votes discovered in Warren County where pre-election test votes were accidentally recorded by the new ES&S system. Verity’s technology allows only cast votes to be counted during a live election, saving time and potential confusion for election officials.
As Verity’s reputation for ease of use and reliability grows, it is gaining momentum as the system of choice for counties across the U.S. Verity supports in-person paper voting, in-person electronic voting, hybrid voting, vote centers and by-mail voting to respond to individual jurisdiction needs.
“Verity had a strong showing in primaries throughout the country. It proved itself again as a ready-to-use solution backed by Hart’s exemplary customer service,” Mathis said. “We are proud to support democracy with reliable, transparent voting.”
New Voting System, New Democratic Edge in Orange County
By City News Service ••
Orange County election officials did not see any issues Tuesday with voters casting ballots in a new system, Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said.
“We have some 20- to 30-minute waits right now around the colleges,” Kelley said Tuesday afternoon. “The rest of the county looks good.”
In-person turnout Tuesday afternoon was at about 53,000, which is on par with 2016 election-day turnout, Kelley said.
Vote-by-mail ballot turnout was running about 40% higher than 2016 in Orange County as of Monday, when Kelley estimated overall turnout could reach about the mid-60s.
Vote-by-mail ballots are 70% higher than 2012, said Kelley.
“Some would say that’s unfair because everybody gets a vote-by-mail ballot now,” Kelley said. “Only 2% of registered voters have voted in person (over the past few days).”
It’s unclear how voter turnout will be affected by a new system in which ballots can be dropped off at 188 centers throughout the county as opposed to precincts, where residents had one place to vote near their home.
Voters may also just fill out their ballot at home and drop it off at a voter center. The Registrar’s website at ocvote.com lists all of the locations, and includes wait times.
Statewide turnout is expected to be about 50%, Kelley said. Orange County might see about 65%, with most of it coming from vote-by-mail.
The new system will also mean faster tabulations of ballots, Kelley said.
Kelley expects to have all of the vote-by-mail ballots cast by 8 p.m. Tuesday.
By 9 p.m., he expects to have the rest of the ballots, including in-person votes on election day, counted.
There won’t be many provisional ballots to count anymore because the precinct system was eliminated, Kelley said. The last batch of ballots to be counted will be the ones dropped in mail boxes on election day, Kelley said.
The Institute for Fair Elections on Monday handed over affidavits from its volunteers claiming more than half of 7,904 voters contacted by the nonprofit were “inaccurate registrants,” that included people who are not citizens, don’t live at the address anymore or have some other issue with their status.
“We are doing much more in Orange County than any other counties,” Kelley said of maintaining accurate voter rolls. “None of this is a surprise. It’s an ongoing thing and every day we have been working on those kinds of things. If they’re looking for a completely clean list that’s not going to happen.”
The heads of Democratic and Republican parties in Orange County felt confident heading in the primary and viewed it as a dry run for the November presidential election.
The big difference for Democrats is the party enjoys a slight advantage of registration, the first time since the Watergate era in the mid-1970s. There were 23,600 more Democrats registered than Republicans as of Monday, Orange County Democratic Party Chairwoman Ada Briceno said.
“Now we’re just working hard to turn out our voters,” Briceno said. “We’re very optimistic, but the truth is we have to make sure we’re changing the hearts and minds of voters going into these vote centers. Change is hard for folks, so we’ve been doing a lot of education.”
The party’s volunteers have gone door to door alerting voters they can cast their ballots at any of the vote centers.
“We’re telling people ‘don’t show up to the school… to your old polling place,'” Briceno said.
Orange County Republican Chairman Fred Whitaker said Democrats may have more voters signed up, but his party has seen about 35,000 more Republicans than Democrats voting so far.
The new voting system makes it easier for party bosses to see who hasn’t voted yet, Whitaker said. Republicans are also happy that there will be fewer provisional ballots, he added.
“I’m always concerned when there’s live ballots out there,” Whitaker said.
“That leaves me with a little uncertainty and a risk for shenanigans, so we’ll have to see how that all plays out.”
Some of the top races observers are watching include two Orange County supervisor races as Republican incumbents Andrew Do, the vice chairman of the board, and Don Wagner, seek re-election in nonpartisan races.
Democratic attorney Ashleigh Aitken is challenging Wagner while Do is facing three Democrats, Westminster City Councilman Sergio Contreras, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen and termed-out Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.
Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-San Juan Capistrano, is fighting for re-election despite losing an endorsement from the Republican Party following accusations from a few women, including Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, of sexual misconduct. The GOP approved a resolution calling on Brough to retire, but he defied the sentiment and denied the allegations.
Brough is facing off against businessman Scott Rhinehart, Laguna Niguel mayor Laurie Davies, Homeland Security attorney Chris Duncan and Mission Viejo City Councilman Ed Sachs.
Assemblyman Tyler Diep, R-Westminster, is attempting to fend off Diedre Nguyen, A Democratic Garden Grove City Councilwoman, and former Republican state Sen. Janet Nguyen, who lost her bid for re-election two years ago to state Sen. Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana.
Sen. Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, will square off in a rematch with Josh Newman, who was recalled and replaced by Chang, who narrowly lost to him in 2016.
Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, faces a challenge from Democratic Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, and UC Irvine law professor Dave Min, also a Democrat.
Copyright CNS – City News Service
Onslow tests first new voting equipment in 16 years
New voting equipment that was tested at one precinct during Onslow County’s primary elections Tuesday may end up being a new standard.
The East Northwoods Precinct at Jacksonville Commons used new voting equipment in the form of a flash drive device made by Hart Intercivic was used instead of the ESNS card/chip device used by all precincts over the last 16 years.
“The machine has memory now with the flash drive that if in case it fails, the memory is there as a back up,” Onslow County Board of Elections Director Jason Dedmond previously told The Daily News. “The old machines just counted numbers but these count and scan the ballots. We’re very excited about it, it’s the first new equipment we’ve had in over 16 years.”
Dedmond said things ran “great” with the new equipment on Tuesday, with one small issue he anticipated would come up.
Due to the difference in equipment at the one precinct, Dedmond said they had to manually enter the ballots from the East Northwoods precinct.
“Since the other 23 precincts were using different equipment and formats, we knew we’d have to do that,” Dedmond said.
Dedmond said that wouldn’t be an issue if the county decided to buy the new equipment to use at all 24 precincts.
“I imagine the new equipment is a subject that will come up at our next board meeting on March 12, as to whether we want to look into purchasing it,” Dedmond said. “It’s something that has to pass through us at the Board of Elections and then get approval from the county commissioners.”
If the county was to purchase the Hart Intercivic equipment, Dedmond estimates the cost would be upward of $400,000.
Digital ballot scanners (scanners that count the ballots) cost $6,100 each, Dedmond explained, and ADA marking devices (machines that allow voters with special needs to easier mark their ballots) cost $5,300 each. The county would need to buy 30 of each.
That alone would be $342,000 just for those two items before any other expenses. Information on what the additional $58,000 would be used for was not immediately available. Dedmond suggested speaking with Hart for a full cost breakdown and calls for comment were not returned by deadline.
During the primary election, a vast amount of eligible voters seemed to stay home Tuesday as the N.C. State Board of Elections website listed 24,425 people casting ballots in Onslow County out of 106,600 registered voters, or or 22.91%.
Those numbers are lower than the last presidential election primary in 2016, even though there are more than 9,000 additional registered voters this year. According to the N.C. BOE there were 26,644 ballots cast out of 97,415 registered voters, a total of 27.35%.
However, the 2020 numbers won’t be certified until the vote canvass on March 13. Dedmond explained that ensures all ballots, including absentees and provisionals, are counted accurately before reaching a finalized number for official results, essentially so no one’s vote is left out.
Some good news, however, is Dedmond said if the county did choose to buy the Hart Intercivic equipment, they would “certainly be able to have it ready by November’s general election.”