Dear Tarrant County Voter:
Starting in November 2019, you will vote using the Hart InterCivic Verity Voting System, a hybrid system that provides a paper trail for every voter, combined with the latest advancement in digital security. Allow me to recap how we got here.
On September 18, 2018, the Commissioners Court was briefed on the types of voting equipment available on the market. After a lengthy discussion, the Court expressed the preference to find a solution that provided a paper trail for the voter to review, and to serve as an added layer of security and redundancy for audits. The Elections Department then set itself on a mission to find the best option available and published an RFP inviting vendors to offer a “hybrid” technology solution.
A Hybrid voting system is one where the voter makes the selection on a digital terminal — also called a direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machine — but unlike a traditional DRE, these terminals do not record the voter’s selections. Instead, those choices are printed on a paper ballot for the voter to review and confirm. Once the voter is satisfied with the contents of the printed ballot, the ballot is inserted into a separate machine — an optical scanner — that counts the ballot and then deposits it in the ballot box.
On August 13, 2019, Tarrant County selected HART InterCivic to replace our old voting technology with its brand new hybrid system. Here are some of the reasons we chose this technology:
- It provides a paper trail. From the beginning, we knew we wanted to ensure that voters would have the possibility of confirming their selections before they were recorded. Early Voters will now also have a paper ballot to verify; there will no longer be different voting experiences between early and election-day voting.
- It is digitally secure. This system incorporates the latest information security techniques and tools, on both the hardware and software levels. As required by law, it has been tested and certified by both the Federal Government (Elections Assistance Commission) and the Texas Secretary of State.
- It eliminates voter interpretation. Unlike the old hand-marked ballots, you will never have to wonder again if the scanner read your mark correctly. Except for absentee by mail voters, every voter in the County can now rest assured that if they read John Doe on their ballot, then it will be counted as a vote for John Doe. The days of ovals mismarked or names circled that only come up during a recount (if someone paid for one) are over.
- It is accessible. With this new technology, voters with disabilities have the exact same experience every other voter has. There is no more “waiting for the DAU machine to be available,” because every voting machine at the location is now an accessible device. Voters will also be pleased to see they can tailor their experience — like changing the language on-screen or the size of the text — without any help from the poll workers.
We are sure you will be as thrilled as we are when you vote in the next election. As always, if you have questions about our voting system or would like to find out more about becoming a poll worker, please call the Tarrant County Elections Office at 817-831-VOTE (8683).
Tarrant County Elections Administrator