New voting system on the way for 2022 primary election
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the DuPage County Board unanimously approved funding for DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek’s request for a new voting system which features 100 percent paper ballots. The Clerk’s office selected the Hart InterCivic Verity paper voting solution scheduled to be in place for the 2022 Primary election.
“I have been waiting to say these words for 16 years,” Kaczmarek said. “DuPage County will have 100 percent paper ballots.
“DuPage is very proud to be the first county in Illinois to use complete on-demand ballot printing for both Early Voting and Election Day voting. Not only are we upgrading to the most secure, transparent, and user-friendly voting system on the market, but we are also saving the County money by printing only the ballots needed by voters so there is no waste. Finally, and most importantly, our County’s new system will ensure all voters have the same voting experience; there is no different size or shape of ballot for voters with disabilities.
“Voters can use a fully accessible ballot marking device and that device produces a ballot that looks like all others. Everyone will be treated equally.”
The County agreed to a four-year contract for $7,264,965, including initial equipment purchase costs, with options for two additional four-year renewals. The Hart system will replace the County’s optical scanners purchased 20 years ago and touchscreen machines purchased 16 years ago. The Clerk’s office was notified that the current voting equipment would no longer be supported after this year.
Austin-based Hart InterCivic has 109 years of election experience with 780 customers in 19 states. Hart’s voting systems are designed, engineered and built in the USA.
The next-generation Verity system was certified by Illinois this year meeting the highest election security standards. Verity is never connected to the internet, making it impossible to hack. The Verity Scan allows reliable audits of voter intent with digital captures of all scanned ballots. The system offers automatic counting for write-in votes, ranked choice voting capability, faster and reliable recounts and multiple language options.
Every aspect of operations is anticipated to become more efficient with the new system, including quicker lines in polling places and easier start-up and shut-down for election judges. Hart will integrate well with the KNOWiNK poll pads for checking in voters.
“The selection of a new voting system is among the most crucial decisions for DuPage County,” Kaczmarek added. “My staff took this responsibility conscientiously and enthusiastically. Our office has full confidence in the choice of Verity by Hart InterCivic.”