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County’s voting system gets approved

Supervisors on Tuesday approved a long-awaited electronic voting system for the county.

They approved a contract with Hart Intercivic for a blended paper and electronic system that was recommended by the Citizens Voting System Selection Advisory Committee.

The HART Voting System will cost the county $62,000 in annual software licensing fees and $55,000 during the next four years for annual maintenance and upgrades, said Bill O’Neill, an independent consultant hired by the Elections Office to work with the citizens’ committee .



“This all seems like a very expensive process, and we’ll be left with the cost after we institute this,” said Chairman John Spencer.

State and federal funding will pay for the initial $1,503,752 purchase of the equipment.




During a four-month review period, the committee and Nevada County voters tested out the Hart system and another by Diebold Inc. and researched references from other counties who use the equipment.

Criteria evaluated by the committee included the security of the system, ease of transition for voters and election staff, training costs and ongoing maintenance costs.

The Help American Vote Act of 2002 required jurisdictions to provide accessible voting to individuals with disabilities by January 1, 2006.

Nevada County leased equipment as an interim solution to meet the 2006 deadline while researching and finding a HAVA system, acting clerk-recorder Marcia Salter wrote.

A contingency plan will be put into place to meet requirements for the February 2008 election if the secretary of state’s office decertifies the system, Salter said.

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To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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