Comal County Unpacks New Voting System from Hart InterCivic
Comal County Commissioners voted unanimously last month to switch to the new Verity® Voting system from Hart InterCivic. The decision was based on Verity’s reputation as an easy and efficient voting solution as well as the extraordinary customer service that Hart has provided the County. Hart delivered the equipment Jan. 4.
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“We fell in love with Verity based on what we saw in demos and on what we heard from some large counties,” said County Clerk Bobbie Koepp, who has more than 20 years’ experience working with elections. “We were especially impressed with the good feedback from Lubbock and Hidalgo counties after they moved to Verity early on.”
“Plus we have confidence in Hart. We know that even their legacy system is easier and faster than the competitor’s system they replaced for us in 2015. We’ve always had easier elections and faster results with Hart,” she said.
“Comal County has chosen trustworthy, flexible technology that will deliver the performance they demand. We are proud to continue as their election partner,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions. “We appreciate their confidence in Verity and in Hart.”
Comal County election officials are focusing on unpacking and testing the 275 devices that were delivered last month. They’ve brought in a team including election judges and poll workers to help verify the equipment is operating properly and ready for training sessions this month.
“The people on the front lines are the ones getting to know the system first,” said Cynthia Jaqua, Elections Coordinator since 2014. Other workers are busy preparing storage carts and moveable trays for the compact, briefcase-style devices. Comal County serves more than 99,000 registered voters across 28 precincts, and transport is an important consideration.
Koepp and Jaqua also have extensive plans for voter education before Verity’s May debut. They’re planning an open house with Verity demonstrations and setting up a mock election from start to finish. Information is shared regularly with the public, including on Facebook pages for both the County and County Clerk department.
“We’re looking forward to Verity’s user friendly touchscreen, and the voters are ready for it, too,” Koepp said. “We also expect easier preparation and even faster vote counting. Our current system is faster than our previous devices, but the new technology should be even faster. From what we know about Verity, it should be simple and very secure. I believe that it is more trustworthy than other options. We are working to get the word out.”
“Verity is made in Texas, by Texans,” said Jaqua. “During a recent conference, we were able to go to the factory to see it being put together. The detail work is impressive.”
Comal County officials also appreciate the personal attention from Hart’s Texas team. “Hart’s support staff is the most wonderful I have ever met. We could not ask for anything better,” said Koepp. “Whoever I talk to is professional and helpful. Programming. Support. Sales. Project managers. Election Day managers. They are all the best. That counts.”
Comal County joins a growing number of Texas jurisdictions moving to Verity. Since the Texas Secretary of State certified the latest release of the system in late 2016, Hart has shipped more than 9,800 Verity devices across Texas. First federally certified in 2015, the secure and flexible system is also in use in numerous counties throughout the U.S.
Koepp has advice for those considering a switch. “It’s simple. Go with Hart, and you’ll be happy and satisfied in all aspects.”
Braithwaite expects more announcements this year as additional jurisdictions choose Verity to replace aging systems.
Learn more about Verity in Texas: https://www.hartintercivic.com/texas/