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Assembly Bill 2525 and Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires
all precincts have equipment that meets the requirements of the
American with Disability Act for the vision impaired. The Federal
Justice Department requires all ballots in Merced County to be
in both English and Spanish (primary languages spoken by 5% or
more of the citizens in the County). Proposition 41 passed by
the voters called for and funded new voting equipment.
RFP was issued to all firms authorized to sell election equipment
in the State of California and that met both the State and Federal
requirements. A review committee comprised of Management Auditors
(your vote is as important as your dollar), Information System
Manager, and Election Managers and staff.
Systems & Software (ES&S) was selected as they were the
only firm to:
- Eliminates over voting
(voting for more candidates than allowed)
- Allows early voting
(polls opening the 2 weekends prior to the weekend before election
day) to assist the voter in being able to vote.
- Allows the vision impaired
to vote a secret ballot the same as other voters by utilizing
a headset, up and down arrows and diamond select arrow.
- Weighs 14 pounds and
can be transported to the voter.
- Eliminates confusion
over English/Spanish ballot.
- Allows us to conduct
school elections in Junior High, High School, and Colleges to
promote voting at little cost.
- Faster tabulation and
System weighs 14 pounds
and will be transported to polling place by inspector at which
time it will be zeroed out and the polls will be opened. At 8 p.m.,
the polls will be closed and the touch screens will be transported
to Merced and placed in an individual lock down facility which
is password protected and records when each device is moved. Opening
and closing of each unit is done by internal and external serial
number. Software security will be accomplished by logic and accuracy
testing of each unit and is open to the public for review.
The system will be funded
by a combination of Proposition 41 funding in the amount of $1,056,294.37,
Federal HAVA funding, and savings in ballot printing costs which
have been going up at an excessive rate the last few years (doubled
annually of late).