BRANDON, Mississippi, June 26, 2018 – Rankin County voters and election officials praised the simplicity and speed of their new paper-ballot process when they voted in this month’s Primary Election. The primary marked the first time voters across all Rankin County precincts had the opportunity to use the new Verity® Voting system, which replaced 15-year-old electronic equipment.
“Many voters commented that they felt more in control of their voting experience,” said Tonya Rivers, one of five Rankin County Election Commissioners.
“They appreciate that they can operate the machines independently, without poll workers’ assistance at the voting booth. One voter had placed an unintentional mark on his ballot; he was impressed that the Verity Scan device provided a message that alerted him to the error,” she said.
As for poll workers, they quickly recognized the simplicity of Verity during comprehensive training before the primary, Rivers explained. “It was great to see the lightbulb turn on for them and hear them say, ‘This is really simple – so much easier than the system we used to have!’”
“Congratulations to Rankin County on their smooth countywide rollout. We’ve been happy to help throughout their transition and we will be here for them for years to come,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
Hart’s extensive election experience helped streamline Rankin County’s transition for 86,000 registered voters. “They are election experts and understand any issues we’ve come up against,” Rivers said. “Hart delivers exactly what they promise. They are trustworthy, friendly and personable. Verity has been extremely easy to learn and use. The equipment has performed well.”
Verity, the most up-to-date technology available in the U.S., is a federally and state certified system designed from the ground up to be flexible, easy to use and secure with all new hardware and software. Rankin County officials chose a paper-ballot configuration when they purchased Verity in December 2016. Other jurisdictions across the U.S. have chosen electronic, paper or hybrid arrangements.
The easy-to-use system got high marks for speed at all levels. Voters like that they can quickly insert the ballot in any orientation, and that the machine tells them if there is an issue with the ballot.
At the end of Election Day, most results were transmitted from the County’s polling locations to headquarters by Verity Relay, a secure, high-speed option allowed in a small number of states. Verity Relay is the only EAC-certified solution in the U.S., meeting stringent security requirements. “It made the press happy to see results rolling in so quickly,” Rivers said. “We were excited too; we did the happy dance every time results came in from another precinct.”
Rankin County is one of the fastest growing counties in Mississippi, and Rivers is confident in their future with Verity and Hart. “We feel a lot less stress at Election Central. We have our state audit coming up, and I’m zero percent concerned,” she said. “Hart is always there for us. You couldn’t ask for a better vendor.”
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