|November 24, 2003 07:01 AM US Eastern Timezone
City of Alexandria, Va., is the Latest Jurisdiction to Purchase Hart InterCivic's eSlate Electronic Voting System
AUSTIN, Texas(BUSINESS WIRE)Nov. 24, 2003
||City to Implement New Voting System for Feb. 10 Primary Election; Accessibility for All is Key in City's Decision to Purchase New System
The City of Alexandria, Va., announced today that it has purchased the eSlate(tm) Electronic Voting System from Hart InterCivic of Austin, Texas, after a unanimous vote by the Alexandria City Council earlier this month. The contract, valued at $711,450, marks the company's second electronic voting installation in the state of Virginia.
The eSlate System will fully replace the City's current optical scan voting system beginning with the Feb. 10 Primary Election. Alexandria will also be replacing its absentee voting system with the eSlate System's Ballot Now(tm) application for by-mail voting.
The Alexandria Electoral Board began its search last year to replace its voting equipment with a system that would meet the strict accessibility requirements of the federally mandated Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of November 2002.
"We conducted an extensive evaluation of all of the voting systems certified for use in the state of Virginia," said Tom Parkins, registrar of voters for the City of Alexandria. "We determined that the eSlate System offers the City of Alexandria the best voting system on the market in terms of ease of use, accessibility, security, maintenance and durability," said Parkins. "The eSlate has been implemented successfully in jurisdictions throughout the nation, including the City of Charlottesville here in Virginia, and we feel confident we have chosen the best system available and a quality company with a proven track record of success in support and customer service."
After reviewing all voting systems certified by the Virginia State Board of Elections, the City of Alexandria invited two vendors to conduct a test election during the November 2002 Federal Election. The Alexandria Electoral Board and staff reviewed the results of that election and solicited input from a wide range of community organizations and individuals, including citizens, elected officials and political parties. Ultimately, more than 40 groups and individuals commented, including the Commission on Persons with Disabilities, the NAACP, League of Women Voters, the Hispanic Advisory Committee and the Office of Aging and Adult Services. As a result of this process, the Electoral Board unanimously recommended that the City of Alexandria purchase Hart InterCivic's eSlate Electronic Voting System.
Among many factors evaluated by the Alexandria Electoral Board, accessibility for voters with disabilities and other special needs was a key consideration. The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities offered strong support for the eSlate during its evaluation of different systems. In a memorandum to the Alexandria City Council and City Manager, the Commission stated, "We believe that the Hart eSlate provides the best opportunity for providing the most accessible voting technology to Alexandria residents with disabilities."
Chet Avery, chair of the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities said, "Of all of the systems we evaluated, the eSlate provides the most accessibility options and the best access features for all persons with disabilities. Those with severe mobility and manual impairments, as well as those with visual impairments, can easily use the eSlate."
Specially equipped eSlates will be located in each of Alexandria's 24 polling places on Election Day. Each voting unit has multiple accessibility interfaces for visually impaired, mobility impaired and literacy-challenged voters. Accessibility features include an integrated audio ballot reader, an interface for breath control ("sip-and-puff") devices and a specially designed polling booth.
"The Alexandria City Council should be commended for ing an accessible voting system for the citizens of the City of Alexandria," said Avery. "The Commission is very pleased with the ion of the eSlate as Alexandria's new voting system."
"We are proud that the City of Alexandria ed the eSlate," said Hart InterCivic's President and CEO Britt Kauffman. "We are confidant the eSlate System will be well received in Alexandria and perform as successfully as it has for our other customers in Virginia and throughout the nation."
The eSlate Electronic Voting System is one of the most widely used electronic voting systems in the nation. Since introducing the unique eSlate electronic voting solution in 2000, Hart InterCivic has sold more than 20,000 eSlate units to jurisdictions representing 5 million registered voters. Since first used in live elections in 2000, over two million votes have been cast accurately and securely on the eSlate System. Hart InterCivic has successfully installed the eSlate System in jurisdictions of varying sizes, including Harris County, Texas, the nation's third-largest county with 3.1 million citizens and 1.9 million registered voters, and the City of Charlottesville, Va., with just under 20,000 registered voters.
About Hart InterCivic (www.hartintercivic.com)
From electronic voting to the most effective technologies for automating local government processes, Hart InterCivic's name stands for exceptional expertise, absolute accessibility and trusted transactions. Hart InterCivic is a leader in providing products and services that help redefine the relationship between state and local governments and the citizens they serve. Hart InterCivic, with offices throughout the United States, including company headquarters in Austin, Texas, is working nationwide to bring governments closer to citizens through complete electronic government (eGovernment) solutions and election management solutions. More information about Hart InterCivic and the eSlate System is available from the company's Web site at www.hartintercivic.com.
eSlate and Ballot Now are trademarks of Hart InterCivic Inc.