Nevada County group studies voting options |

Nevada County group studies voting options

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunIgnacio Cortez uses an electronic voting machine at Truckee Community Center during the last election. Nevada County has put together a committee to select new voting machines.

Nevada County has assembled a new committee to select secure and accessible voting machines for the future.

Nevada County rented Diebold Election Systems for the recent Nov. 7 election in order to meet Help America Vote Act requirements, and is now pursuing a more permanent solution. The county elections office assembled a Voting System Selection and Advisory Committee to review voting systems for purchase.

Assistant County Clerk-Recorder Cory Wilkins said the seven members include himself, representatives of the disabled community, poll workers, a past member of the board of supervisors and a county voter.

“We really have a good cross-section of the community,” Wilkins said. “They are open minded and willing to work together.”

Aside from the seven voting members of the committee, Wilkins said the group is looking for as much public involvement as possible.

“The more input we get from the voting public the better off we will be,” Wilkins said.

Ana Acton, a systems change advocate for the FREED Center for Independent Living, is one of the members representing the disabled community.

“We are looking at accessibility ” we want the greatest accessibility for various disabilities,” Acton said. “But overall we are not just making a recommendation for the accessibility of the equipment, but also security and reliability, a voting system everybody in Nevada County will use.”

Wilkins said the first meeting was held in Nevada City on Tuesday, where members of the committee familiarized themselves with the issues.

The next meeting will be held sometime during the second week of January, when the committee will review the material, Wilkins said.

The third meeting will include a vendor demonstration of the voting machines in late January or early February, and a final meeting with a decision mid-February, Wilkins said.

Acton said the decision would be given to the county registrar, who in turn would make a recommendation to the board of supervisors.

Wilkins said the two voting systems that submitted bids to the county are Diebold Election Systems, the machines used in this year’s election, and Hart Intercivic.

“There are four certified voting systems in California and we were hoping for all four to bid, but it was bad timing for some of the companies after the elections,” Wilkins said.

Prices for the county to buy one of the two systems will come later in the negotiation of the contract, Wilkins said.

He said he wants to remain objective in considering the two systems, and only said that the county had no problems with the rented Diebold machines during the last election.

For those interested in participating, information on when and where the next meeting will be held will be posted on when it becomes available. For more information call the Registrar or Assistant Registrar at 265-1298.

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