CUERO, Texas, Feb. 7 – This week, the DeWitt County election office is taking delivery of the most advanced election system certified for elections in the U.S., Hart InterCivic’s Verity Voting System.
In early January, forward-looking county officials decided to upgrade to an electronic voting system and quickly chose Verity, recently certified by the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
“There was never any question of picking another system,” said Blanca McBride, DeWitt Election Administrator. “Hart customer service is amazing, and we knew that their partnership would make Verity our best choice.”
“DeWitt’s purposeful decision to go with Verity Touch and Access speaks volumes about our ongoing relationship of trust with the county,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic. “We’ve partnered with the county for more than a decade, and we are proud of their confidence in Hart products and service.”
The county’s decision lays the groundwork for convenient and popular Vote Centers, which allow for voters to vote at any polling site on Election Day.
“Ten days later, we saw a demo of Hart’s Verity,” explained McBride. “We like the touchscreen. Plus, our commissioners, the election board, my staff and the community posed lots of good questions about security and other issues. Hart’s demo answered them all.”
The court quickly voted to move forward with a Verity contract, and by Feb. 3, Hart staff visited DeWitt to arrange logistics for training and delivery. DeWitt voters will use Verity in the May election, and Vote Centers will be rolled out for November, McBride said. (The county’s modern new electronic poll books, also purchased from Hart, will streamline voter check-in at the Vote Centers.)
Verity features include a user-friendly touchscreen that McBride plans to demonstrate throughout the county. She also will share information online and through social media to familiarize voters with Verity and encourage them to try the new system before Election Day.
Verity is the only new electronic voting system certified for use in Texas, and DeWitt joins other Texas counties deciding that it makes sense to choose Verity while keeping the same customer service and relationships they have had with Hart for more than a decade. Hart has more than 100 existing partnerships with Texas counties, and Braithwaite anticipates more Verity announcements for the Austin-based firm soon.
“Texas election officials are moving quickly to prepare for the future,” Braithwaite said. “Hart and Verity make sense. They were born and bred in Texas and have 100 years of history in the election business.”
“I would tell other counties not to wait until the last minute,” agreed McBride. “Using aging equipment that has the propensity to have issues could hurt the credibility and integrity of your election.”
Since the U.S. Election Assistance Commission certified Verity’s first release in May 2015, jurisdictions in eight states have adopted the system.
Learn more about Verity in Texas: https://www.hartintercivic.com/texas4verity.