Registrar of Voters Michelle Baldwin and staff introduced a revolutionary voting platform to Tulare County at the Open House Event November 14 at Government Plaza in Visalia. Dominion Voting Systems has been selected to provide touch-screen voting machines and tabulators at 50 locations in Tulare County.
“Forty out of 58 counties in California are using Dominion Voting Systems. It really speaks to their support system,” said Baldwin. “This voting system is much more user friendly and straightforward.”
“This really enhances the Democratic process. It’s as smooth as possible.” added Public Information Officer Tammie Weyker.
Voters have the option of a paper ballot or using the interactive touch screen. The touch screen technology allows easier access to voters with disabilities, including the blind and deaf. On every station there is a paddle unit for simple access and clarity. Each touch screen has ADA compatibility and audio for the visually impaired.
“We want special needs voters and everyone else to have access regardless of their situation,” said Systems and Procedures Analyst Stephanie Hill. “It’s very intuitive and less intimidating. We have the ability to take something that was formerly frustrating for people and make it more inclusive.”
The ability to correct your ballot if you feel you’ve made a mistake is also key. Rather than filling in a circle and erasing it you have the option to unclick digitally. The system is also seamlessly bilingual with one click.
Dominion Voting Systems was founded in 2002 in Toronto, Canada and its U.S. headquarters are in Denver, Colorado. According to its website, Dominion is used in more than 2,000 jurisdictions across the country. The Democracy Suite software was introduced to California in 2014 and has since been certified three times, according to Director of sales Sheree Noell.
Porterville college student Emily Chapman came to the event with her grandmother and great-grandmother. She remarked, “This seems much more efficient and less time-consuming.” Her grandmother Nancy Ruggeri added, “This seems much more accessible and usable.”
“The bottom line is saving money and time for our voters,” said Baldwin. “Instead of having errored ballots kicked out of the system to be processed manually it happens automatically with greater transparency. Dominion’s exclusive AuditMark feature allows results to be audited down to each individual ballot.”
Noell summed it up:”County government and private business are in a partnership for the greater good. We are in the trenches together.”