San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

COVER: Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson addresses a joint meeting on Monday of the League of Women Voters of Hays County and the Hays County Political Women’s Caucus about voting procedures and registration. The county is appointing a citizens committee to make recommendations on the purchase of a new electronic voting system. PHOTO by MELISSA MILLECAM

FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS

The Hays County Elections Commission is assembling a citizens committee to make recommendations on a new electronic voting system to replace aging equipment in use for more than a decade.

After meeting today at the courthouse, the committee issued an invitation for people to express interest in serving on the committee, which will be comprised of seven Hays County residents and four others.

The committee will be chaired by Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson and include county information technology administrator Jeff McGill, Hays County Democratic Party chair John Adams and Hays County Republican Party chair Russell Hayter. Virginia Flores, the county’s chief voter registrar, and Tomas Cardosa, the county’s elections data programmer, will serve as non-voting members.

Officials say they had planned to update the system before the failure to count more than 1,800 votes in November led to public scrutiny of the county’s election processes; the votes weren’t counted because a data recording device was misplaced after being switched out during early voting and Anderson has said the equipment was not to blame.

Hays County has used eSlate direct-recording equipment produced by Austin-based Hart InterCivic since the November 2005 general election. Currently, Hart and two other manufacturers — Toronto-based Dominion Voting Systems Corp. and Omaha, Neb.-based Electronic Systems & Software — are the only vendors certified by the Texas Secretary of State for use in the state.

In addition to conducting Hays County elections, the county elections office also administers elections on behalf of cities, school districts and special districts within Hays County, including the city of San Marcos and the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District.

Citizens committee members should expect to spend several hours each month for as many as three months viewing demonstrations and participating meetings. To be considered for appointment, send an email to this address by noon April 17.

The elections commission expects to announce citizens committee members at its April 20 meeting.

CORRECTION 11:44 a.m. MARCH 31: The citizens committee will be comprised of seven residents, not five.

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One thought on “Hays County to appoint citizens committee on electronic voting equipment

  1. How will this update prevent the data recording devices from being “misplaced” during the next election cycles? What about the issues with the current election cycle, where voters that live outside of the city limits are receiving the ballots that include city bonds, as well as people campaigning inside the university polling location? Will this group address those concerns?

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