Harris Co. awards $54M contract to HART for voting systems

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 2/2/21

Harris County Commissioners Court awarded a $54 million contract to HART InterCivic for 12,000 new InterCivic Verity Voting Systems and related equipment for fuure Harris County elections Jan. 26. …

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Harris Co. awards $54M contract to HART for voting systems

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Harris County Commissioners Court awarded a $54 million contract to HART InterCivic for 12,000 new InterCivic Verity Voting Systems and related equipment for fuure Harris County elections Jan. 26. The systems are approved by the Texas Secretary of State’s office and are the same system used in Tarrant County, according to a Harris County press release.

“My commitment to Harris County voters is to provide an open, transparent and accountable voting process –– moving to the HART InterCivic Verity Voting System does just that by giving voters a more accessible, secure and verifiable ballot to improve the voting experience for all Harris County Voters,” said Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria.

The purchasing process for the new voting machines spans more than two years and began in 2019 with the goal of rolling out the new machines in time for the May 2021 elections. The county requested and received multiple bids from vendors to help modernize and increase election security, the statement said. Machines were then selected by a committee of representatives from each county commissioners staff, from the county judge’s office and technical experts from the county clerk’s and elections administrator’s office.

The new machines offer the option to complete a paper ballot which can be verified prior to submitting the ballot in a secure onsite ballot box, added security through the collection of paper ballots and triple data backup to allow for more thorough ballot verification and touchscreen Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant controls, compact voting machines and screen toggling features that make navigating the ballot easier.

“My goal is to use the coming weeks to learn and train staff about the HART voting machines and offer all Harris County voters the opportunity to learn more about the new features. We will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating timelines to make sure we are ready for May elections. However, only if my staff feels we can do so while providing the continuity of service, ease, and accessibility that you all as voters expect,” Longoria said.

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