Solano County is moving forward with the most up-to-date voting technology, Verity® Voting, a modern, secure system from longtime election solution provider Hart InterCivic. Verity was chosen over other systems based on the County’s thorough research and public comparisons.
“Our goal was to best serve our voters, now and for years down the road,” said Assistant Registrar of Voters John Gardner. “Verity delivered what other systems could not.”
“With new technology, we can do better at the polling places. We specifically sought a system to integrate with our electronic polling book – a system capable of printing the correct blank ballot for newly registered voters,” said Gardner, who has more than 18 years of experience as an election professional, including eight years in his current role.
The County also staged a 2-hour side-by-side demonstration of Verity and another California-certified system for about 100 stakeholders including government officials, poll workers, representatives of political groups, plus interested members of the public. Other counties also sent officials to the step-by-step demonstration designed to compare each voting process in real time.
Surveyed afterward, 80% of Solano respondents said Hart did a better job of meeting local election needs.
Chart courtesy Solano County Registrar’s Office
“Verity rose to the top, and during our RFP process, it scored the best in our functional requirements,” Gardner said. “We found that Verity is the best way to utilize new technology to improve the in-person voting experience.”
“We are proud to be selected by Solano County and appreciate their analytical approach to choosing an election partner,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, a U.S. company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
“We share their voter-first outlook and look forward to delivering the technology and expertise that the County demands. Verity is the only all-new, proven system certified in California,” he said.
Delivery of equipment will begin in July, and Verity will debut in Solano County March 3, 2020. Gardner plans mock elections and other opportunities to let voters get comfortable with the new system.
Voters will continue using paper ballots, then scan them at the polling place, so much will remain the same. Gardner is looking forward to several features that will provide better service to the County’s 240,000 registered voters:
- Second-chance voting that alerts voters at the scanning station of possible errors or omissions.
- Ability to print a correct ballot for newly registered voters
- Accessibility for all voters
- Easier set-up and lightweight design to help poll workers work efficiently
Behind the scenes, Gardner anticipates saving time and money with Verity’s on-screen adjudication, streamlined reporting options, off-the-shelf scanners and user-friendly programming.
He also has confidence in Verity’s security features.
“Hart has been in the business a long time. They understand security and integrity, both inside and outside the devices. This system has passed state and federal tests, and we never connect to the internet. Our voters can be confident,” he said.
As for other jurisdictions exploring their next voting system, Gardner says it is a tough decision, and a thoughtful, thorough process is crucial.
“Make sure you write down what is important to you, and make a decision based on what you need and want. Choose a system you can live with. Your choice needs to fit what you are doing today and in 10 years,” he said. Verity’s flexible design fits Solano’s vision.
“Verity was certified by the State of California in 2018, and Hart has provided voting system solutions to California counties since 2006,” said Braithwaite. “Our commitment to the state is long-term.
“We pioneered digital ballot scanning more than a decade ago, and our willingness to listen to stakeholders and provide solutions is the DNA of Verity’s efficient, flexible and transparent approach,” he continued.
Hart is actively working with a number of California counties researching new election systems, and Braithwaite anticipates more announcements in the coming weeks.
Learn more about Verity: https://www.hartintercivic.com/state/california/