EASTLAND, Texas, Dec. 21, 2016 – With the Verity certification announcement from the Texas Secretary of State’s office this month, Eastland County elections officials are moving forward with their plan to purchase the most advanced voting system in the U.S., Hart InterCivic’s Verity® Voting system.
Verity, which will be used for the county’s May 2017 election, was certified Dec. 15 by the Texas Secretary of State’s office and has passed rigorous testing at the state and federal levels. It will replace Eastland County’s 11-year-old legacy voting system from Hart.
“I can’t wait to move to Verity’s new technology,” said Laurie Mangum, Joint Elections Administrator. “Verity’s touchscreen will make it easier for the voters, and that could improve our voter turnout. We are all about the voters, and they are all used to touchscreens.”
Keeping the same customer service and relationships they have had for more than a decade makes sense for Eastland County. “Hart customer service is really good. They are always ready to help,” Mangum explained.
Officials were also impressed with the security features of the new system. Printed audit logs and custom reports provide “paper trail” security superior to other electronic voting options.
“Eastland officials knew that the time was right to move to Verity. We have worked with the county since 2005, and we are sensitive to their budget and security needs,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic. “We were happy to work with them on when to take delivery and how to handle transparent, trustworthy elections. We know that Verity will serve their voters for many years to come.”
Eastland County voters will be using Verity Touch, which is the only all-new direct-recording electronic (DRE) device on the market that complies with all federal and state guidelines.
While the Verity touchscreen is bigger and easier to read, the complete system weighs less than older options. Its portable, briefcase style simplifies transport, setup and storage.
Voters can switch between available ballot languages at any point in the voting process, adjust the font size and/or contrast on the screen, and control both the speed and the volume of the audio if they are using the headphones. To serve voters who cannot enter the polling place due to physical disabilities, poll workers need only turn a key and lift the 6 pound, rugged tablet from its base to carry it outside. “Unlock, pull out and go,” said Mangum. “Making it easy on voters who can’t walk so far is an advantage.”
Verity’s first release was certified by the federal Election Assistance Commission in May 2015, and the system has now been selected by jurisdictions across eight states. The version certified in Texas this month was designed to meet the needs of longtime and new Texas customers. Hart, which provides voting system solutions for 111 Texas counties, has headquarters in Austin and more than 100 years of history in the election business.
Braithwaite anticipates more Verity announcements from Texas counties in the coming weeks.