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Mock Election Scheduled for New Voting Equipment

Both Republicans and Democrats joined in "acceptance testing" when Comal County received its new Verity Voting Equipment in January. Image courtesy of Hart InterCivic, which manufactures Verity Voting systems.

Comal County residents are invited to participate in a mock election from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday that’s designed to get their vote for the county’s new Hart Verity voting equipment.

The exercise is designed to familiarize residents with the new touch-screen technology, said Cynthia Jaqua, the county’s election coordinator.

They new machines go into use during school district and municipal elections on May 4.

“Rolling out new voting equipment is a big change, and we want to make sure voters have every opportunity to get comfortable with it before the next election,” Jaqua said. “If anyone can’t make it to the open house, they’re always welcome to call ahead and come in anytime during regular business hours, and we’ll be thrilled to help them.

Some 275 machines were delivered in January after Comal County Commissioners authorized their purchase in December 2018.

“We’re excited to show off our new equipment and introduce the machines to our voters,” said Bobbie Koepp, the county’s elections administrator. “Our goal is to make voting as easy and painless as possible, and these machines will help us do that.”

In a press release issued Feb. 5 by Hart InterCivic, the Austin-based company with more than 100 years of experience providing election solutions, Koepp said Comal County “fell in love with Verity based on what we saw in demos and on what we heard from some large counties.”

“We’re looking forward to Verity’s user-friendly touchscreen, and the voters are ready for it too,” she said. “We also expect easier preparation and even faster vote counting. Our current system is faster than our previous devices, but the new technology should be even faster. From what we know about Verity, it should be simple and very secure. I believe that it is more trustworthy than other options.”

Hart InterCivic said Comal County used a team of election judges and poll workers to verify the equipment operated properly and was ready for training sessions in February.

The company describes the equipment as comppact, briefcase-style devices, adding transport is an important consideration for far flung Comal County.

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