Big Stone County, Minnesota Picks Hart InterCivic as New Election Vendor

Big Stone County officials have chosen the Verity® Voting system from Hart InterCivic to replace their aging election equipment from another vendor. Updated technology and a streamlined package were compelling features in Big Stone’s choice.

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“Verity’s technology is advanced compared to what we had. And we liked that we could buy both the tabulation equipment and the assistive voting machine together,” said County Auditor Michelle Knutson. “We visited with various vendors in 2018, and in demonstrations, Verity looks easy to use.”

“Thank you for choosing Verity and welcome to the growing Hart family,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, a U.S.-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions. “We are glad to be able to provide all of Big Stone County’s election solutions in one purchase and we look forward to working with you to ensure the success of your elections for many years.”

Knutson is pleased to replace machines more than a decade old and chose to purchase before the end of the year, using the state’s 50/50 funding match. New devices have already been delivered, and their smaller footprint is good news.

“Most of our precincts are mail-in, so we use the tabulating devices in the courthouse. We don’t have a lot of space, so we like the size of Verity. Our old tabulators had huge steel bins that took up a ton of space, but our new equipment fits on shelving in our storage room – we can finally see the floor,” Knutson said. The compact, briefcase-style Verity is also easier to transport as necessary.

“Verity seems easy to use and easy to learn. The easier we can make it for our election judges, the better,” she added. “Newer technology going forward should be faster, so we are excited.”

First federally certified in 2015, the secure and efficient Verity system is also in use in Ramsey and Chisago counties in Minnesota and in numerous counties throughout the U.S.

“We asked Chisago County how they liked Verity’s programming features and Hart’s customer service,” Knutson said. “We were leaning toward choosing Hart and Verity based on demonstrations and were glad to hear positive reviews from fellow election officials. Chisago (County) said they would do it again, so we got a good reference from someone we know. We jumped in.”

“One of the other things we are excited about is that Hart personnel will be onsite for our first election in 2020,” said Knutson. “We are looking forward to that level of customer service.”

Knutson also pointed out the on-demand ballot printing feature of the Touch Writer accessible ballot-marking device. “We won’t need to worry about running out of ballots. That’s a bonus.”

Braithwaite expects more announcements as additional jurisdictions choose Verity.

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