County voters will cast secure paper ballots using Hart InterCivic’s Verity system when they go to the polls this November, thanks to rigorous testing and research by the St. Louis County Election Board. Its evaluation led to the choice of Verity® Voting to replace a 13-year old system from another vendor.
Ballot accuracy and ease of casting a ballot were top considerations for the evaluation committee, which included subject-matter expert employees and an independent cybersecurity expert. Beginning in January, this group screened vendors, scheduled public demonstrations, reviewed feedback, consulted with other municipalities across the country and researched legislative and other requirements.
The result was the Board’s unanimous decision to choose Verity.
The new system “preserves the accuracy, efficiency and fairness of our elections,” the Board wrote in an announcement after the decision. “A voter can cast a vote and that vote is counted without an opportunity for an outside agency to change or affect that vote.”
“Congratulations to the voters of St. Louis County. Your peers have chosen Verity, with the highest standards and highest customer confidence,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, a U.S. company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
“Hart is new to Missouri, but our election expertise is built on decades of hands-on partnerships with jurisdictions across the U.S. We look forward to serving St. Louis County with integrity and enthusiasm for democracy.”
Certified by Missouri’s Secretary of State and Election Division in May, Verity delivers a secure paper trail and will relieve worries related to ballot shortages at polling places in St. Louis County.
Under St. Louis County’s current voting method, officials must guess how many ballots need to be pre-printed, potentially running out or having to destroy extras. Verity saves money and time with printing in the polling location
With Verity, the correct ballot style will be printed after each voter has been checked in at the polling place. The voter hand marks the ballot and feeds it into a scanning device where markings are tabulated. Unlike “barcode” systems, the markings themselves are read and counted. The paper ballot is safely preserved for recounts or audits.
In listing benefits of the new system, the Election Board also noted that Verity “eliminates human error when printing out a ballot.” For example, some polling places serve voters from 7 different precincts, needing 7 different ballots. Verity will access the correct ballot electronically- every time.
The Board, a bi-partisan, state-mandated, appointed group of residents responsible for all public elections in the County, also pointed out that “the equipment is easy to store, transport and set up. It requires little maintenance and is not reliant on expensive software upgrades.”
Verity will debut in 30 of the County’s polling places that have elections this year. By November 2020, it will serve all 750,000 registered voters.
Hart has seen a steady increase in demand for Verity across the U.S., as counties prepare for 2020 elections. Now that St. Louis County has chosen Verity, Braithwaite expects more Missouri counties to select Hart’s secure and efficient technology to replace older systems.
“Hart pioneered digital ballot scanning, and Verity protects every step of the election process,” said Braithwaite. “Verity is a trustworthy, secure election solution backed by Hart’s signature service and reliability. We are proud to deliver what Missouri voters need and want.”
Learn more about Verity: www.hartintercivic.com/state/missouri/