Mandated upgrades will provide verifiable paper trail for electronic voting

The current voting system that Medina County uses is a Direct Recording Electronic system, or better known as a DRE, according to Elections Administrator Lupe Torres. As noted in previous articles, the county is and counties all over Texas are now required to upgrade voting systems in response to concerns in the last presidential election.
“Texas Senate Bill 598 is mandating that all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems shall be retrofitted, so that the voting unit can create or display a paper record that may be read by the voter and provide a verifiable paper audit trail. This process shall be completed on or before September 1, 2026,” Torres explained.
During the Medina County Commissioner’s Court held on October 7, 2021, the Court approved that the current voting equipment be upgraded through our current vendor (see separate article).
“We will continue to utilize our current voting system (DRE) for the November 2, 2021 Election,” Torres said. “Plans are being made to commence with the conversion process (retrofit) after the November 2, 2021 Election.”
The new voting system should be in place for the 2022 Election cycle.
“The retrofitted version of the new Verity Touch Duo will allow the voter to make their selection, as they have been on our current voting system, however, the voter will then be allowed to insert a paper ballot (which will be provided to them), into to voting system and it will print the voter’s choice(s) in a human-readable text,” Torres said.
After the voter has reviewed their ballot and are satisfied with their choice(s), the voter will then be required to insert their printed ballot into a scanner prior to leaving the polling location.
According to SB 598, no later than 24 hours after all ballots have been counted in an election, the election records custodian will conduct a risk-limiting audit.
By Kayleen Holder

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