Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8Jefferson County to Acquire New Election Equipment By: David Summerfield, Director of IT Even though there isn’t a scheduled election this year, there won’t be any downtime in the JCCO Election Center in 2017. A committee made up of members from the Elections Division, the Information Technology Division and JCCO executive management have recently published a request for proposals (RFP) for new voting equipment for Jefferson County. Companies from all over the United States that specialize in selling and servicing election equipment are being invited to respond to that request with state-of-the-art products that will serve as the new way to vote for Louisville Metro citizens. This past February, the JCCO Voting Equipment Selection Committee was formed. They immediately began the hard work of developing specifications for Jefferson County’s next generation of voting machines. Throughout February and March members of the Committee conducted visits to other voting jurisdictions to see equipment and software from a variety of companies in action. Committee members spoke with election officials in Marion County, Indiana (Indianapolis), Hardin County, Kentucky (Elizabethtown), Hamilton County, Tennessee (Chattanooga) and Fairfax County, Virginia (suburban Washington, D.C.). They learned about the types of voting equipment currently on the market and what customer service experiences those agencies have had with their respective vendors. What was learned from those visits was brought back to the Selection Committee for consideration and use in developing requirements and selection criteria for the RFP. A key feature of any new voting system will be the continued use of a paper ballot by voters. Now, you might think that a paper ballot is a pretty outdated way of casting votes, considering all the new technology that’s available. But, as “old fashioned” as it might seem, a paper ballot is still the best, most secure way of ensuring both the accuracy of a ballot and a voter’s privacy. And, in the event of an election recount, we will still have a paper ballot to tell us what a voter’s original intent was when he or she voted. No matter what might happen to the computerized part of a voting machine, if there’s a paper ballot there’s an accurate way to count those votes, even if it’s by hand. Finding voting machines that allow voters with disabilities to cast their ballots in private is also a top priority of the Selection Committee. In order to be considered, voting systems must meet disabled voting requirements established under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There are also other key features that the Selection Committee will look for. New voting machines will need to be easy to transport and easy to set up by poll workers. They’ll need to be easy to use by voters and easy to close out at the end of an Election Day. Another important feature of any new voting system is the ability to tabulate and report voting results quickly and securely. And, the new voting equipment will need to last a very long time. Our current ballot scanning machines have been in service for almost twenty years. Once election equipment vendors have a chance to respond to the RFP the Selection Committee will evaluate the responses and narrow the field to two or three “finalists”. Those finalists will be invited to give presentations about their products to the Selection Committee. Local voter interest groups, organizations that advocate for those with disabilities and members of the public will also be invited so that we can get their input. After the Selection Committee has evaluated the vendor presentations they will make their final choice. That decision should come sometime near the end of May, or the beginning of June, of 2017 according to the current project time table. Once a vendor is chosen, that vendor has sixty days to deliver the new voting equipment and software. We anticipate getting the new equipment sometime around the first week in August, 2017. By the time the May, 2018 Primary Election rolls around the voters of Jefferson County will have a new, easier way to cast their ballots. 4