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California

Sutter County To Replace 13-Year-Old Voting System
April 15, 2019
Voting booth open house

At the recommendation of Clerk Recorder Donna Johnston, the Sutter County Board of supervisors Tuesday, April 9, approved the purchase of a new voting system to replace a 13-year-old system that needs to be replaced due to technology and voting laws, and is no longer certified by the California Secretary of State.

The Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Democracy Suite Systems to provide a touch screen voting system with 35 booths and touch screen units, a system server, high speed scanning equipment, work stations, software, printers, and other peripheral equipment, along with training support, for $625,737.

The Elections Department reviewed several voting systems over the past two years, and sent an Information Technology staff member to DefCon, a voting system hacking event, to gain further knowledge prior to recommending a system.

On March 5, the Elections Department held an open house with two vendors whose machines are certified as meeting requirements of the Secretary of State. Attendees included a mix of local elected officials, members of local partisan political organizations, members of the Sutter County Grand Jury, and experienced election workers. Attendees had an opportunity to see the two systems at work.

Clerk Recorder Johnston said her recommendation to the Board was a combination of the Elections Department research and overwhelming support for Dominion’s system.

Also, on March 5, the California Secretary of State’s Office decertified Sutter County’s existing system, purchased in 2005. The California Secretary of State’s Office has awarded Sutter County a grant of $313,000 toward purchase of a new system.

The Clerk Recorder said the system should allow ballots to be counted quicker because it has a ballot adjudication function that will allow faster processing of problematic ballots, such as overvotes.

The Clerk Recorder stated, “we are excited to utilize this new voting system which will be more secure, produce faster results while being cost effective, and ensure a transparent process”.

(Photo: The Sutter County Elections Department conducted an open house at the Sutter County Veteran’s Memorial Building March 5 with two vendors seeking to provide a new voting system to Sutter County. Elected officials, members of local partisan political organizations, members of the Sutter County Grand Jury, and experienced election workers had a chance to try out the systems prior to a recommendation being made to the Board of Supervisors by Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston.)