With the November Uniform Election on the horizon, a growing number of Texas counties are modernizing their election systems by choosing secure, transparent Verity Voting from Texas-based Hart InterCivic. Many are sticking with longtime partner Hart to adopt the most up-to-date technology certified in the U.S., Verity® Voting.
Others, like San Augustine County, are switching from previous vendors because of Verity’s user-friendly design and exemplary customer support.
“Verity will let our election judges focus on the needs of the voters, not on the needs of aging equipment,” said Elections Administrator Kelly Camp in San Augustine County, where Verity was chosen over their existing vendor, ES&S.
“We were excited to see that Hart’s Verity is smaller and more manageable,” she added. “Plus Hart appreciates the value of relationships. They provide a high level of service. We’re small, but we matter to Hart.”
San Augustine uses hand-marked paper ballots which their 6,000 registered voters prefer.
“Large or small, you ALWAYS matter to Hart. We are happy to welcome you to the Hart family, where 95 percent of customers would recommend our services to a colleague, as referenced in our most recent customer survey,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
In Gregg County, with 70,000 registered voters, Verity was chosen for its compatibility with countywide vote centers, user-friendly ballot programming, and the hybrid voting option, Verity Duo.
“We like the idea of hybrid voting – marking with a touchscreen and printing out a verifiable paper record, it delivers an additional layer of security for our voters without sacrificing convenience” said Gregg Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy, who has worked with elections for more than 37 years.
“Two counties. Two approaches to elections. One trustworthy platform. Verity can be configured however your county wants to vote,” said Braithwaite. “Texas counties are realizing the value of choosing the trusted election engineering that makes sense for their voters – backed by unmatched standards and security.”
In addition to San Augustine and Gregg Counties, other recent Texas Verity converts include Hays, Tarrant, Hardin, Jim Wells, Llano, Uvalde, Wheeler, Wise, Taylor, and Parker counties. With Hart’s support, all plan to use Verity for their fall elections- supporting over 1.5 million new Verity voters across the state. Verity is currently serving 60 Texas jurisdictions with more than 15,000 devices deployed across the state.
In Gregg County, demonstration machines are already set up for election workers and the public to test drive.
“The most common reaction I hear is ‘That’s easy!’ Everyone is excited about the true touchscreen,” said Nealy. “Our voters also like the idea of verifying their vote on paper before feeding it into the scanner.”
In San Augustine County, voters will notice little change as they mark paper ballots, but administrator Camp is looking forward to improved vote tallying and reporting. “Verity’s reports are easier to read and that means less stress on election night. It will be easier to provide results for public information requests,” she said.
Trustworthy and secure
“Hart has a good record on protecting the vote in this critical age,” said Camp. “I’m not a cyber expert so I am glad we can rely on Hart’s expertise to shore up our defenses against potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities.”
In Gregg County, Nealy says Hart’s attention to external security features improves voter confidence. “Our system is never on the internet, never on our network, security locks are proprietary – someone can’t just walk in and break into a voting machine or plug something in. I’m glad that Hart has thought about these external features.”
Reputation and expertise
As San Augustine commissioners met to consider Hart versus their previous vendor, one member relayed input from an official in Grimes County who has been a Hart customer since 2005.
“They love Hart! We were aware of Hart and Verity’s solid reputation throughout the state. But our commissioner got a personal report,” said Camp. “The court approved the upgrade at that meeting. When a commissioner is happy with an election system, that carries a lot of weight.”
Camp added that they are happy to now work with a Texas firm. “Of course Hart is a nationwide company, but we love that they are based here. They design, manufacture and employ in the State of Texas. We like supporting a Texas business,” she said.
In Gregg County, Nealy looks forward to continuing a Hart relationship that started years before electronic voting was introduced in 2006.
“We’ve known our Hart reps for a long time and consider them friends. They are always available and I even have their personal cell phone numbers. The Hart team worked overtime to get this project accomplished on our tight timeline.”
“And Hart is very experienced, not just with election technology, but throughout the election field,” she said. “They know what the law requires and they are trusted.”
As Verity’s popularity grows in Texas, it is also gaining momentum as the system of choice for counties across the U.S. preparing for 2020 elections. Verity’s uniquely flexible hardware and software approach means the system appeals to forward-looking jurisdictions seeking adaptable solutions. Verity supports in-person paper voting, in-person electronic voting, hybrid voting, vote centers and by-mail voting to respond to individual jurisdiction needs.
“Verity was born and bred in Texas and Hart has served Texas voters for more than a century,” Braithwaite said. “We listen to our Texas partners and respond with better products and services. There is no better choice for Texas voters than Verity.”
For more information about the Verity Voting system, please visit www.hartintercivic.com/state/texas/