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Texas: Travis County approves purchase of $8M paper-trail voting system | Austin American-Statesman

It might not be the first-of-its-kind, open-source software voting system that Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has sought for more than a decade, but the county will have a voting system with a paper trail by the November 2019 election. Travis County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved the purchase of an about $8.2 million electronic voting system with paper backup from Election Systems & Software. About $1.5 million in costs for other election day equipment will need to be approved in coming weeks, bringing the total cost to about $9.7 million. The county will be among the first in the nation to commit to rigorous statistical auditing using that backup.

Full Article: Travis County to move to voter verified system with paper trail.

Kansas: Software glitch is confusing voters in election for governor | The Wichita Eagle

When you go to the polls to vote for governor between now and Tuesday, don’t be surprised if you don’t see every candidate that you’re expecting to see on your ballot. They’re all there, but you may have to look a little deeper than usual to find the candidate you want to vote for. Because of an unforeseen software glitch in Sedgwick County’s new voting machines, not all the candidates’ names appear on the first screen when the voting machine gets to the gubernatorial election. To see all the names, you have to touch “more” at the bottom of the screen, which opens another page with the rest of the candidates. So on the first screen page that comes up when you’re voting in the governor race, you might see, for example, Gov. Jeff Colyer’s name, but not his chief rival, Kris Kobach. Or you might see Kobach’s name but not Colyer’s. Or you might see both, or neither.

Full Article: Software glitch is confusing voters in election for governor | The Wichita Eagle.

Pennsylvania: Unisyn touts minimal human involvement | The Sharon Herald

The goal of Unisyn’s voting machine systems is to keep human beings out of the process as much as possible, “You’re taking that human element out of the process,” said Todd Mullen of RBM Consulting, which is marketing and servicing electronic voting systems for Unisyn Voting Solutions, based in Vista, Calif. “The more you handle a ballot, the more opportunity you have to mishandle it.” Mullen presented Unisyn’s systems Thursday for the Mercer County commissioners and the county’s elections staff in the second of three scheduled demonstrations of voting machine systems. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania are under a mandate by Gov. Tom Wolf to adopt a voting system by January 2020 that provides paper documentation of individual votes, while protecting voters’ identities. Election Systems & Software, based in Omaha, Neb., demonstrated its devices June 14. ES&S company’s products include the iVotronic, which Mercer County residents have been using to cast their votes since 2006. The current system lacks the required paper trail. Dominion Voting Systems of Denver will stop in Mercer County July 12 to present its wares.

Full Article: Voting machine vendor touts minimal human involvement | News | sharonherald.com.

Arkansas: Voting machine upgrades cause issues between county, state | El Dorado News Times

Citing too many unanswered questions, the Union County Quorum Court voted 8-2 Thursday to table a discussion about the possibility of receiving new voting machines from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The issue began earlier this year, when the state began to offer assistance to counties to purchase new voting machines. But in Union County, that offer has been rescinded more than once, leaving local officials unsure of how to proceed. Officials also voiced concerns with replacing equipment before the November election. Last month, Union County Judge Mike Loftin received a letter from Kelly Boyd, chief deputy Secretary of State, offering the county new voting machines for elections, for which the state would pay 50 percent of the costs. The letter stated that the total cost for the new machines for Union County would be around $440,000, using Election System & Software (ES&S).

Full Article: El Dorado News Times Voting machine upgrades cause issues between county, state.

Pennsylvania: Complying with governor’s edict could be expensive, leaders say | Sharon Herald

In Mercer County’s efforts to purchase a new voting system, the incumbent got first crack at displaying its wares. Omaha-based ES&S promoted its next-generation election machines for county commissioners and elections officials Thursday at the courthouse. Mercer County has used the ES&S-manufactured iVotronic machines for more than 10 years. Mercer, and Pennsylvania’s other 66 counties, are under an order from Gov. Tom Wolf to adopt voting systems that provide paper records of individual votes cast to alleviate concerns of election tampering in time for the 2020 elections. The iVotronic device does not meet that standard. All of the election options presented Thursday issue paper records of individual votes or read paper ballots, or both. Kevin Kerrigan, a senior sales engineer for ES&S, said the devices are designed to function for the long-term. “You’re going to buy this stuff and expect it to work for at least 10 years,” he said.

Full Article: Complying with governor’s edict could be expensive, leaders say | Local News | sharonherald.com.

Kentucky: 700 new voting machines will change how Louisville ballots are cast in 2018 | WDRB

The next time voters in Jefferson County go to the polls, they’ll use a pen to cast their ballot, the first indication of Louisville’s new voting system. The Jefferson County Clerk’s office spent more than $3 million this year on 700 new machines. “This is about voter integrity,” said James Young, co-director of the Jefferson County Election Center. “It’s about ensuring the best technology is available for the voters.” The County Clerk’s office plans to roll out the new machines at every polling location in Louisville, completely eliminating its old fleet. “Our neighboring state, Virginia, just de-certified equipment we had in this county for nearly 20 years,” Young said. Writing in pen instead of pencil is new, along with the machines those ballots will be counted on, but Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw is was quick to point out that there will still be paper ballots. “There will always be a paper trail,” she said.

Full Article: 700 new voting machines will change how Louisville ballots are c - WDRB 41 Louisville News.

Georgia: Lawmakers consider replacements for voting machines | Associated Press

Georgia lawmakers are considering replacements for the state’s touch-screen voting machines that were adopted statewide 15 years ago and that have been criticized because they don’t produce a paper trail. The state House Science and Technology Committee heard on Thursday from representatives of three different voting technology companies. “We’re just trying to understand what options the state of Georgia has,” said state Rep. Ed Setzler, a Republican from Acworth who chairs the bipartisan panel. …  Susan Greenhalgh with Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that pushes for measures to make elections accurate, transparent and verifiable, said after the hearing that system the state currently uses is old, has raised security concerns and has already been abandoned by other states for that reason. “The time is now for Georgia to fix their voting system,” she said. “It’s good the legislature is taking this up and we hope they move quickly.”

Full Article: Georgia lawmakers consider replacements for voting machines | Online Athens.

Georgia: Paper Ballot Pilot Going Smoothly in Rockdale County | APN

After years of the State of Georgia operating with an unverifiable and fundamentally flawed E-voting system, a pilot program to test a new E-voting system with a voter-verifiable paper trail, is going smoothly and to rave reviews by voters in Rockdale County. Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s Office invited Rockdale County to participate in the pilot, as Kemp’s office is considering recommendations for implementing a new statewide system. The pilot is taking place in two precincts in Olde Towne in Rockdale County, and within the City limits of Conyers, for the General and Special Election on today, November 07, 2017.  The pilot lasted for all of early voting and continues today, Election Day. Computer scientists have advocated for this type of system in Georgia since 2002, when then-Secretary of State Cathy Cox and the Georgia Legislature first installed the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines, which are without a paper trail to independently verify the voters’ intents.

Full Article: Georgia’s E-voting Paper Trail Pilot Going Smoothly in Rockdale County | Atlanta Progressive News.

Georgia: State test drives paper ballots | Valdosta Daily Times

Georgia election officials are bringing back paper ballots – at least temporarily – in the city of Conyers local election, providing a glimpse of what may one day replace the state’s aging voting machines. The on-loan voting equipment went into action last week in Conyers, a small city just outside of Atlanta, as early voting started for the Nov. 7 election. With the system being used in the pilot program, called the ExpressVote Universal Voting System, voters are issued a paper ballot that they insert into a touch-screen voting machine, prints their choices onto the ballot. Voters can then review their selections on the paper ballot before inserting it into a tabulation machine, which scans the ballots and secures them in a locked box. If there’s a mistake, the voter is issued a new ballot.

Full Article: Georgia test drives paper ballots | Local News | valdostadailytimes.com.

Georgia: Voters test paper ballots beginning Monday | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A crucial test for the future of Georgia elections begins Monday when early voting opens across the state ahead of the Nov. 7 local and special elections. Voters in Conyers will begin casting paper ballots along with new voting and tabulating machines as they decide on a new mayor and two City Council seats. The pilot program comes as advocates have sued to force the state to dump its aging all-electronic system amid fears of hacking and security breaches. And it could pave the way for the first elections system reboot in Georgia since 2002. “Everything is still on track and we are ready to go,” said Cynthia Welch, the elections supervisor for Rockdale County, which is running the Conyers election. Welch and her team have spent the past several weeks demonstrating the system, including to other local elections officials as well as lawmakers.

Full Article: Georgia elections: Voters test paper ballots beginning Monday.

Georgia: New paper-ballot machines debut in Georgia | Atlanta Journal Constitution

More than a dozen voters have used new paper-ballot voting machines in Conyers with no reported problems, the first step of a new pilot program to test the machines in Georgia. “It’s fair to say we’re excited to get the ball rolling and partner with a good elections office and give voters a preview of what the future of voting may look like,” said Chris Harvey, Georgia’s elections director.  “This kind of technology seems to be what a lot of states are going toward,” Harvey added. “This is becoming the new normal.”

Full Article: New paper-ballot machines debut in Georgia.

Georgia: Paper ballot voting machines unveiled in Rockdale, Georgia’s first pilot | OCG News

Rockdale Elections Director Cynthia Welch recently held a demonstration showing off the new “paper” ballot voting machines that will be used in the Nov. 7 Conyers municipal elections. Rockdale is the first county in Georgia to pilot the new machines, which will provide voters with a paper ballot they can examine before casting their ballot in a tabulator machine that counts the votes. “If they’re not satisfied with their vote, they can take it to a poll worker and request a new ballot and start all over. Once they are satisfied with their selections, they can cast the ballot in the tabulator,” Welch said.

Full Article: “Paper” ballot voting machines unveiled in Rockdale, Georgia’s first pilot – On Common Ground News.

Georgia: First look at paper ballot voting machines | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The thin, long piece of paper slides slowly out the voting machine, the internal mechanism guiding it making a sound similar to a copying machine. Printed on it are choices selected during voting, tapped seconds before on an electronic screen attached to the same machine. The piece of paper, in this case a ballot, is then carried to a second machine that electronically tabulates the votes while also dropping the paper into a locked, internal box. “Every vote that’s been cast there is a hard-copy paper record that each voter validated before it was inserted, scanned and tabulated,” said Jeb S. Cameron with Election Systems and Software, a Nebraska-based voting software and election management company that will help Georgia pilot a new paper-ballot voting system in November. That touches on one of the fiercest criticisms Georgia’s current system has received: There’s currently no paper record for most ballots cast in its elections.

Full Article: Georgia elections: First look at paper ballot voting machines.

Nevada: New voting equipment for Carson City | Nevada Appeal

Carson City is getting new voting equipment in time for the 2018 midterm election. Instead of a plastic card, voters will get a bar-coded, paper ballot to insert into the new machines. They will then make choices via a touchscreen, much like the existing system, and when done the machines will print out the inserted paper ballot, which voters can verify and then put into a ballot box, or scanner, to cast their vote. “This is a change, but when I talk to people about the difference they say that it would be so nice to have a paper ballot to drop in the box,” said Susan Merriwether, Carson City clerk-recorder.

Full Article: New voting equipment for Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com.

Kansas: Sedgwick County Commission Wants Election Audit Legislation Passed In 2018 | KMUW

The Sedgwick County Commission is seeking state approval to do voting machine audits regularly. The commission is working to get legislation passed in 2018 that will allow audits of election results. Currently, the state of Kansas does not allow a review of ballots, except as it relates to specific election challenges. Lawmakers failed to pass a bill on election audits last year. Commissioner Jim Howell says there is broad support for the legislation for the upcoming 2018 session. He says Sedgwick County’s new voting machines are designed for audits. “We would like to do random sample auditing across our county, and that would add a lot of transparency and a lot of confidence in our election process, and right now we don’t have that,” Howell says.

Full Article: Sedgwick County Commission Wants Election Audit Legislation Passed In 2018 | KMUW.

Georgia: State to pilot paper ballot voting system | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia for the first time in nearly a decade will pilot the use of paper ballots this November in a local municipal election, the first step toward what officials said could be a statewide switch to a new voting system. Voters in Conyers will use the ballots along with new electronic record, voting and tabulating machines for a Nov. 7 election for mayor and two City Council seats. If all goes as planned, it’s the first time voters — excluding absentee voters — will have cast ballots on a system with a paper component since 2008. Back then, officials attached paper spools for a local election on some of the state’s existing electronic voting machines but decided the process was too cumbersome to proceed.

Full Article: Georgia elections: State to pilot paper ballot voting system.

Georgia: New voting machines could change how your vote is cast | CBS46

Georgia is getting voting machines that could change how your vote is cast and counted. A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office would not confirm the details for this story, but we learned there’s about to be a big development that could signal a shift in election equipment. Express Vote machines will get a trial run in the Conyers mayoral race this November. “The pilot program in November addresses some concerns that have been raised about the state’s machines,” says Dr. William Boone, a political science professor at Clark Atlanta University. Rockdale County Elections Director Cynthia Welch told CBS46, “If all goes well, the state will probably ask for legislation where we can test the system statewide.”

Full Article: New voting machines could change how your vote is cast - CBS46 News.

Nevada: New Voting Machines Could Be On the Way for Nevada | KTVN

The next time we head to the polls, there is a good chance we will cast our ballots on new voting machines.  Some of Nevada’s machines have been in use since 2004, spanning more than a dozen elections. “Their expected life-span was about ten years when we got them and we’re already well past that,” Luanne Cutler, Washoe County Registrar of Voters said. There are 6,894 voting machines throughout Nevada’s 17 counties.  If the legislature approves funding, the cost could be up to $25,000.  “Dominion Voting Systems” and “Elections Systems & Software” are the two companies that the Secretary of State’s Office could buy the new machines from. “The accuracy is very, very important but also the new technology,” Barbara Cegavske, Nevada Secretary of State said. “We’re looking at all of those aspects, all of the new bells and whistles.”

Full Article: New Voting Machines Could Be On the Way for Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video.

Minnesota: New Push to Change Voting Technology in Minnesota | KSTP

Minnesota often leads the nation in voter turnout, but isn’t always on the cutting edge of voting technology. One company wants to change that by convincing lawmakers touch screen voting is the wave of the future. “The Express Vote (machine) is an assisted voting device that can also be used by other voters as well,” said Mike Hoversten of Election Systems and Software. He points out that one machine can be used by voters of all abilities. The Express Vote machine eventually produces a paper ballot, but it’s smaller than the size of the ballot required by state law that is commonly used now. A change in state law would be required for counties to consider using the machine. State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, a former Minnesota Secretary of State, said such a change is unlikely, at least for now. “Because you have a uniform paper ballot and that is equal treatment of all voters, that’s really important,” Kiffmeyer told 5 Eyewitness News.

Full Article: New Push to Change Voting Technology in Minnesota | KSTP.com.

Editorials: I’m Blind And I Voted. Here’s What Went Wrong | Ross Doerr/WBUR

The good news is that voting, as an American tradition, is alive and well. The bad news is that the disenfranchisement of people with disabilities — also a tradition in this country — is, too. I experienced it firsthand last Tuesday in Augusta, Maine, when I attempted to exercise my constitutional right to vote. I am a disability rights attorney who happens to be blind. Neither blindness nor accessible voting systems are new to me: I have been blind since childhood, and I was a driving force in the implementation of the accessible voting system component of the Help America Vote Act in Maine and New Hampshire. On Tuesday, when I went to vote, the problems were immediate: It took two people from the city clerk’s office a half hour to get the accessible voting machine working. Once it was ostensibly functioning, it would not accept my selections on the first try — or the second, third or fourth. In fact, not until my fifth attempt. Did nondisabled voters need to wrestle their paper ballots into compliance like this? Roughly 35 minutes after I had begun voting, my ballot was complete — or so I thought.

Full Article: I'm Blind And I Voted. Here's What Went Wrong | Cognoscenti.