Concerns of Voting by Registered Non-Citizens Swirl Around the State as Tom Green County Purchases New Voting Machines
SAN ANGELO, TX — Tom Green County Commissioners approved purchasing new voting equipment during their regular meeting Tuesday amid statewide concerns of non-citizens registered to vote.
On Friday, the Secretary of State’s office issued an advisory that 95,000 non-citizens were registered to vote in Texas and 58,000 of them had cast ballots in recent elections.
Tom Green County Elections Administrator Vona Hudson said Tuesday the Secretary of State’s list is just another tool in toolbox to ensure only qualified voters cast ballots. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has offered to assist counties in verifying voter rolls. Hudson says by law, voter registration rolls are purged every other year and were purged in Nov. 2018. The elections office sends out notices to voters to verify qualifications. If voters don’t respond, they are purged from voter rolls.
There are 15.8 million registered voters in Texas and 64,000 in Tom Green County.
Commissioners Tuesday approved purchasing a new voting system from HART Intercivic which includes 165 new touch screen voting machines. The court in Sept. budgeted $1.5 million for capital equipment for the elections office. HART Intercivic Director of Sales Felice Liston was at the elections office Tuesday morning meeting with employees to discuss delivery and training for the new machines. The new HART voting system replaces all the equipment the county currently uses which is over ten years old.
The new voting system includes touch screen technology and security updates.
According to HART, modern, secure, sophisticated software design supports every element of election management from data imports, ballot definition, vote capture, vote tabulation, results reporting and post-election audits. An intuitive voter interface makes the voting process easy. A full suite of accessibility features supports all voters’ ability to cast an independent, private ballot. Flexible and secure hardware components ensure election integrity and support any type of election.
One of the reasons for purchasing the new voting equipment now is so that voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots on the new equipment before the 2020 general election cycle. But first, Hudson says they plan on using the new voting equipment in the city and school board elections on May 4.
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