Hart InterCivic Debuts Hybrid Voting in Texas
Counties using Verity Duo Avoid Equipment-Related Delays, Recounts
Hart InterCivic’s Verity Duo technology delivered secure, accurate elections across Texas this past Election Day. Counties throughout the state debuted paper-trail voting systems for the November statewide election. Those choosing Verity Duo from Hart InterCivic reported none of the major equipment issues troubling counties that launched a competing system by an out-of-state vendor.
Despite heavier than expected voter turnout and a process learning curve for voters and poll workers, no Verity Duo device failures or vote-counting delays were reported in the six counties using the newly certified system. Verity Duo is a hybrid voting device that combines a touchscreen with a paper vote record available for recounts or audits. No recounts due to equipment problems were required.
“Thank goodness the equipment worked because everything else was so new too,” said Elections Administrator Cindy Ware in Llano County where a surprising 28% voter turnout kept poll workers busy all Election Day.
“Paper is the right choice for our county and voters are happy with a paper trail,” she said. ““Our commissioners are pleased with the equipment. But everything is new and, of course, there were some growing pains. We managed a turnout three times what I expected. With Hart’s help, we’re fine-tuning our procedures and we should be good for the heavy March primary turnout.”
“Hart is committed to providing top-tier professional service helping our customers refresh their processes as needed to adapt to this new technology. We don’t just show up for an install. We support our counties and their voters at every election, big or small. Today and tomorrow,” said Phillip Braithwaite, CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions. Verity is designed and manufactured in Texas.
“Verity Duo is a transparent, secure choice with modern features. Upgrades can be complex, and we work side-by-side with our partners to assure trustworthy, reliable elections.”
Ware credits the Verity ballot design with mitigating “fleeing voters,” a problem some counties using a different system experienced when voters walked out of the polling place with their ballot instead of feeding their narrow, receipt-shaped ballot into the scanner to record their vote. In Travis County, for example, “fleeing voters” triggered a required recount that delayed final results until 3:45 a.m.
The Verity Duo paper record is a familiar full-sized sheet and does not rely on controversial barcodes to tabulate choices. Each voter verifies their choices and inserts it into the scanner to be counted by Hart’s patented optical scanner.
In Tarrant County, the largest Texas jurisdiction to debut Duo, Elections Administrator Heider Garcia told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “None of the issues that were being discussed (after Election Day) have to do with the equipment. They are all related to the human factor.”
“I feel very comfortable saying that we are going into the 2020 election in better conditions than we had in 2018 with new equipment, improved security, a paper trail for every voter and more voter accessibility with the implementation of the vote centers program.”
In Gregg County, where turnout was triple what was expected, Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy said there was no delay in getting prompt election results. “We had early voting results by 7:15 and final reports by 9 p.m.,” she said. “That’s what we expect.”
Like others, she agreed that this vote has better prepared her county for the March primaries. “We’ve learned some lessons and we now have a paper-trail system up and running. Our voters like the true touchscreen and the paper-trail puts us where we need to be.”
Learn more about Verity Duo: https://www.hartintercivic.com/product/verityduo/