GRAHAM, Texas, Dec. 20, 2016 — Thanks to recent system certification by the State of Texas, officials in Young County are moving quickly forward with an election system replacement they have eyed since 2014.
The new Verity Touch electronic voting system from Hart InterCivic makes voting straightforward with an easy to read touchscreen. The compact, lightweight devices save cost and effort for storage, transport and setup.
Based on rigorous testing, the Texas Secretary of State’s office this month certified the second major release of the Verity® Voting System from Hart InterCivic, including Verity Touch. Young County is the first Texas jurisdiction to acquire the touchscreen electronic voting system. Election Administrator Lauren Sullivan encouraged Commissioners to choose the most up-to-the-minute digital solution available in the U.S. and was thrilled when it received statewide certification Dec.15.
“This has been one of the happiest weeks of my professional life. I am over the moon about the new Verity system,” Sullivan said. “I knew from the moment I first saw a demonstration that Verity is the fastest and easiest solution for our voters. They will love the touchscreen.”
“The touchscreen should eliminate a lot of voter issues and problems,” agreed Young County Judge John C. Bullock. “I’ve seen a lot of people want to reach out and touch the old voting screen.”
“We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of election technology with this Hart partnership,” Bullock continued. “I’ve developed a lot of confidence in Hart over the years, and I commend them for their help during this transition. Now, I want to see those machines delivered so we can show our voters!”
Delivery of the new equipment is expected in early January, and the process to replace the 11-year-old system and train elections staff will begin. Sullivan also is looking forward to Verity’s compact, lightweight configuration.
“The Verity size is like a briefcase, and so much lighter than the old equipment. I can make one trip to the polling place instead of two or three,” Sullivan said. “Plus, it will be more accessible to our voters with disabilities.”
Sullivan called Hart’s customer service “fantastic” through the purchasing process. Staying with Hart means the county can continue to rely on the outstanding customer service they have had for more than a decade. Plus, committing early saved money for the jurisdiction.
The Help America Vote Act (2002) required counties across the United States to implement accessible voting systems for the first time, and in Texas, most counties put those systems in place in 2005. Technology has moved quickly since then, bringing enormous improvements in usability and efficiency, and technical devices that are over a decade old need to be replaced. Young County was proactive in recognizing this necessity, and scores of other Texas counties are now making the same change.
“Hart has supported elections in Young County since 2005, and their confidence in our products and customer service speaks volumes about that relationship,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic. “They were first in line to choose Verity in Texas, and the county will benefit from the modern, versatile system for years to come.”
Verity Touch is the only new direct-recording electronic (DRE) device on the market that is certified to current federal and state guidelines.
With Young County’s adoption of Verity, jurisdictions across eight states have chosen the system for their voters. The version certified in Texas this month was designed to meet the needs of longtime and new Texas customers. Hart, which provides voting system solutions for 110 Texas counties, has headquarters in Austin and more than 100 years of history in the election business.
Braithwaite anticipates more Verity announcements from Texas counties in the coming weeks.