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.”