Placer Supervisors approve contract for new voting equipment and software

Published on March 26, 2019

The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved a $3.2 million contract authorizing Dominion Voting Systems to supply the county new voting equipment and software.

The voting system suite includes new paper ballot scanners for all polling places, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant touch screen voting machines and new ballot boxes and software to generate and count ballots. The voting equipment is certified by the state of California.

The California Secretary of State recently notified all California counties of his intent to withdraw certification and conditional approval of all California voting systems. The county’s current voting system, the majority of which was purchased in 2001, is now obsolete and doesn’t meet the Secretary of State’s new voting system standards, which will become effective later this year.

The new system is expected to increase functionality and improve ballot count and review efficiency, and has better security standards and auditing functions than the county’s current voting system.

New ADA accessibility upgrades include improved audio functionality and other accessibility improvements. The new features allow voters with various disabilities to effectively vote and review and cast ballots privately and independently.

“We need this new equipment, of course, to meet our high county and state election standards,” said Placer County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Ryan Ronco. “But additionally, the fact is, how many of us are still using an 18-year-old computer at home?”

In a presentation to the board, Ronco noted that the county Elections Office will require additional warehouse space with improved climate control and electrical needs to properly store the new equipment.

The one-time, $3.2 million project costs will be offset by a $1.4 million match of state grant funds.

The new voting system suite is expected to be in place prior to the presidential primary election in March of 2020.