Hart InterCivic’s Newest Patent Protects Ballot Integrity

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 29, 2019 – Hart InterCivic, a leading provider of secure voting systems in the United States, has patented new technology (U.S. Patent No. 10445966) that tabulates votes made on paper ballots without relying on controversial, unverifiable barcodes to capture voters’ choices.

The innovation, built into the recently certified Verity Duo system, was designed by Hart engineers to record votes in the most transparent, easy-to-verify way possible. The new scanning technology gives voters peace of mind that their marked ballots are tallied word-for-word, not converted into a barcode that cannot be checked by a human.

“As more security experts and voters call for paper-trail accountability, Hart’s mission is to provide systems that build trust and inspire confidence,” said Jim Canter, Vice President of Engineering and Product Management at Hart InterCivic, a U.S. company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.

“We chose to build a product that tabulates votes the right way — our competitors didn’t.”

Other systems rely on converting voters’ choices to barcodes to be interpreted by computer, an approach some security officials have questioned. In September, Colorado banned the use of barcodes for counting votes over security concerns and other jurisdictions are considering similar restrictions.

“The new Verity technology means ‘what you see is what you get,’ and that is what voters want and deserve,” said Canter. “At Hart we are proud to pair our passion for democracy with our engineering strength to create a ballot-tabulating solution that makes voting better for the public. With Verity Duo, this technology is available today.”

The newest technology in the Verity family, Verity Duo is a hybrid voting device that combines the ease of a touchscreen with the assurance of a paper trail. It was designed from the ground up to achieve the best paper-trail accountability and is the only federally certified voting system that scans choices in a way that a voter can verify.

With Verity Duo, a voter marks ballot choices on a touchscreen and prints easy-to-review vote records on an integrated printer. When satisfied with the accuracy of the printed paper record, the voter inserts it into the Verity Scan device to capture written choices using Hart’s newly patented optical recognition technology. Paper ballots are retained for audits or recounts.

A second security-related patent (U.S. Patent No. 10438433) also was granted this month. This technology includes a sliding door system to protect communications ports in the back of two Verity components. This innovation enables tamper evident seals that are easily managed by poll workers. It safely and conveniently solves an industrywide security issue: ports open to potential tampering due to no covering, covering by common tape, or complex sealing procedures often ignored or misunderstood by poll workers.

These newly patented security solutions join the company’s robust intellectual property portfolio supporting the Verity® Voting system, now in use across over 400 jurisdictions.

A growing number of jurisdictions are choosing Verity to prepare for secure 2020 elections.

“Hart pioneered digital ballot scanning and we are committed to forward-looking solutions to serve the public and protect democracy,” he said.

Learn more about Hart and election security: https://www.hartintercivic.com/electionsecurity/

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