US Federal, State, and Local elections employ a number voting materials and equipment during elections. Major vendors ES&S, Hart, and Dominion produce approximately 92% of the equipment used during every US election according to a recent report. The role of these companies in US democracy is being overlooked and needs closer scrutiny, especially as the technology itself is constantly being updated. For a great example of this, here is the latest press release from Hart InterCivic on their freshly updated voting technology:
Verity® Voting’s new hybrid configuration from Hart InterCivic, featuring the innovative Verity Duo ballot marking device, made a successful national debut in a live election this month in Fairfield County, South Carolina. The successful election day helps clear the way for jurisdictions seeking a modern, secure replacement for aging equipment.
Voters were pleased with the ease of a touchscreen paired with a full-size, readable paper record for their review. Verity Duo prints a simple, word-for-word record of each voter’s choices that are then scanned and captured with Hart’s patent-pending optical character recognition technology. Verity Duo offers optimal transparency by reading the same printed results a voter verifies, not a series of barcodes only readable by a machine.
The successful debut comes in the same month as Verity’s latest certification by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and state-level certification in South Carolina. The certification process for Verity’s newest release is underway in other states as well.
“An official election is the ultimate test of new technology. Verity Duo met all of our high expectations,” said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic, a U.S. company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions.
“We are proud of this validation and look forward to additional opportunities in other states that are considering Verity. Hart developed Verity Duo to combine the best of touchscreen technology with a readable paper record voters can check before casting a vote,” he said. “It’s exactly what many states want.”
Voters in Fairfield County’s precincts reported that Verity was simple to use, while poll workers praised it as being easier to set up and take down than the current touchscreen-only equipment. Election workers liked the lightweight unit’s smaller footprint and collapsible booth.
In the words of one voter: “It was so simple – much easier to use than the old system.”
Efficient and cost effective, the Verity Duo arrangement is ideally suited for Early Voting and Vote Centers. Thousands of ballot styles can be easily managed electronically without the expense and complication of pre-printing paper ballots. In the warehouse, Verity’s compact footprint saves space.
Centralized polling place management allows officials to load elections on one console to open and close polls and to monitor voting devices.
Whereas some systems produce the paper record in English only, Verity is fully compliant with federal requirements for multi-language voting and provides the printed vote record in any of the 11 supported languages the voter selects. With a full complement of accessibility features, Verity supports voting privacy and independence for all voters.
Hart’s Verity system already has been in demand as counties prepare for busy election seasons. Braithwaite expects the EAC certification and the successful live election with Verity Duo to expand demand to jurisdictions looking for a touchscreen ballot marker with a paper trail.
“Our first election with Verity Duo is a huge step. We’re ready to deliver more of the same as more states come on board,” Braithwaite said.