Voting Leaps Forward in Bexar!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
August 29, 2002
With all the controversy attending elections, the last things we need to hear about are irregularities or challenges of the system used for your voting. It is with this in mind that Bexar County has finally taken another major step down the road to modern voting. Yes we get what we pay for, $7,647,543 and we believe Election Systems & Software (ES&S) appears best suited to take us into the future of voting in not just Bexar County but in America!
By way of background, in 1999 Bexar County Voting Systems Task Force was formed with 30 community and staff members chaired by Gerry Rickhoff, County Clerk and former chief elections officer of Bexar County. In 2001, the Task Force recommended proceeding with the acquisition of a new voting system. Five vendors responded to our Request for Proposals.
In August, 2001, the Task Force attended six days of presentations from four vendors. Due diligence review of actual operation installations for each vendor and detailed proposal analysis took place between August 2001 and March 2002. On April 23, 2002, Commissioners Court approved the preferred vendor award and authorized contract negotiations with ES&S.
On August 27, 2002, your Commissioner's Court approved a contract award. The new system provides the following benefits:
- Single vendor solution to integrate all the processes
- Faster tabulation of election results
- Cannot vote for too many candidates in one race (no undervote)
- Skipping a race must be intentional (no accidental undervote)
- No "hanging chads" or ambiguous votes
- Reduced use of paper ballots
- Significantly enhanced capability for voters with special challenges
- Eliminate potential of running out of ballots with a large turnout election
- Print ballots on demand
- Results can come in electronically over secured links
In order to ramp up to the successful implementation of this system, the County will stage "Getting Acquainted" events on the following dates:
Winter 2002 Mock Election with iVotronics
- February 2003 Subdivision election with early voting and election day voting using iVotronics
- May 2003 General Election early voting only, using iVotronics
- If approved by Commissioner's Court in the summer of 2003, the November 2003 Constitutional Election will conduct Early Voting and full Election Day voting with iVotronics.
All of this progress and much more, are in store for Bexar County. No more over-ordering of tons of ballots in order to accommodate the possibility of record numbers of voters to cast ballots. The results I am told, of elections should be available by the 10 o'clock news. As a candidate who has gone to bed at past 1:30 a.m. on election night believing but not being sure that I had won, I am much appreciative as I am sure the public is, of a system that informs us of timely results of the election.