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NEW VOTING MACHINES FOR LA COUNTY 

 

 

THE NEW L.A. COUNTY voting system combines a paper ballot with a touch screen. Inside the voting booth, a person makes his or her choices on the screen. The voter then reviews the choices, feeds a paper ballot into the machine, and presses an on-screen button to complete the vote.

BY TAMMYE MCDUFF

Voter Solutions For All People [VSAP] an innovative ‘voter-centered’ approach to voting in Los Angeles County gave a presentation to the Downey City Council this past Tuesday evening, August 13, 2019. 

For 2020, the nation’s biggest voting district decided to “grow” its own voting machines and change the meaning of “Election Day.” 

Big changes are coming regarding how L.A. County runs elections. VSAP was developed by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk in 2009 to address an aging voting system and an increasingly large and complex electorate.  

Los Angeles County has more registered voters than some states, the county’s 5.2 million registered voters will give the new system a test run in real time during California’s presidential primary next March.

Built with open-source technology for $100 million, and combined with a rethink of the voting process that lets locals cast ballots over 11 days instead of 13 hours, L.A. County officials believe their new machines will cut down on mechanical breakdowns, crowding and are ‘less hackable’ than previous voting machines.

Nearly ten years after the Registrar-Recorder kicked off efforts to modernize Los Angeles County’s voting system, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan and his team were presented with ballot marking devices (BMD) developed by Smartmatic this past March. The delivery of these completed devices coincides with the end of the Engineering Validation (EVT) Testing phase of Smartmatic’s system development effort.

The new L.A. voting system combines a paper ballot with a touch screen. Inside the voting booth, a person makes his or her choices on the screen. The voter then reviews the choices, feeds a paper ballot into the machine, and presses an on-screen button to complete the vote.

Smartmatic staff provided the Registrar with a demonstration of how each BMD will function inside a secure election environment that included a simulated warehouse and vote center. The next phase focuses on completion of the design and delivering machines to the California Secretary of State for testing and certification before Los Angeles voters use them to mark their ballots in future elections.

The new system will make it easier for voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency, to cast ballots. The system is unique in that it was designed by Los Angeles County and will be publicly owned and operated by the County. 

The new voting system is slated to be in place in time for the March 2020 California Presidential Primary election—with plenty of testing and pilots beforehand.

One Response to NEW VOTING MACHINES FOR LA COUNTY 

  1. Anonymous

    September 3, 2019 at 10:47 am

    newer is not always better. I can review my choices before printing, but can I review my choices on the printed ballot? If not how am I to verify it is correct.
    As for multiple day voting. It is ripe with opportunities for voter fraud. Voting is and has been the first Tuesday of the month. We have laws that employers must give time off to vote. We want people who vote to be engaged in their government and educated in the choices they make. Seems to me that all the recent changes are geared toward getting more people who are not engaged in the process to vote.

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