Upgrading election management system approved – Daily News

September 26 | Posted by mrossol | Voting Issues

Most precincts in the US have 2000 – 5000 voters.  Assume you have 30 poll workers.  If you have a Dem and Rep together counting votes, that’s  333 ballots per team. How long can it take to count votes: 2 hrs max is my calc. mrossol

Source: Upgrading election management system approved – Daily News

By Grayson Sewell

gsewell@conleynet.com 262-306-5043

WASHINGTON COUNTY — The Washington County Executive Committee voted to upgrade the county’s election management system, and to do a full recount of select state and federal elections, during their meeting on Wednesday.

“What we’re looking at doing is beginning to program all of our elections here, in-house, rather than contracting with [Dominion Voting Systems] as we have in the past,” said Washington County Clerk Ashley Reichert.

According to Reichert, her predecessor had previously programmed the election machines used by the county in-house, until April of 2016 when they had decided to switch to Dominion voting machines and contract the work out through Dominion.

Currently, the county has the “lite” version of the software used for the voting machines, and would need to pay for upgrading to the full version so they can start programming the machines in-house again. The county will be able to use the same voting machines with the full version of the program.

“It’s the same software, it’s just a program that gives me the capability of inputting all of the data that I compile already,” said Reichert. “Then I’m able to actually put it all together and finalize it all rather than having Dominion do so.”

The cost of upgrading the software and training staff is estimated to be up to $75,000, according to the committee report.

Reichert said this will also lead to ongoing expenses for the county for increased fees, but they will be included in her budget moving forward and would go through a budget amendment in the future.

According to Reichert, one of the fee increases is $11,000 more than the county currently pays. The other is for $20,000 for training and support in programming as they switch to doing it in-house, but it will only be for a year or so.

“I think this is something that Ashley should be commended for. I think anything we can do to pull things away from Dominion and have more control, and Ashley, who I think does a phenomenal job, to be able to have her hands on it, is a positive,” said County Executive Josh Schoemann.

 

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“I’d like to also echo those same comments. I think we need to make our public aware that we’re bringing so much more of this control in-house, inside the county,” said County Supervisor Caroll Merry.

The committee voted unanimously to approve the use of up to $75,000 in strategic priority funds to upgrade the county’s election system management software.

The committee then voted on doing a full recount by hand of the governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. senator elections in the general election on Nov. 8.

According to Reichert, the county audits every election held, by choice.

Normally, the county will randomly select two reporting units in the county and then hand-count the ballots in two of the races in the election and compare the results with the voting machine tabulations.

“What we are suggesting doing for the 2022 general election is hand-counting the entire county as a part of an audit doing the top state race and the top federal race, which would be governor, lieutenant governor and then the U.S. Senate race, and hand-counting all of those,” said Reichert.

According to Reichert, the expense of the recount is up to $50,000, and would be paid for by the county and not the individual municipalities. The funding would come out of the strategic priority fund.

She added that she doesn’t believe the recount would cost the full $50,000, as in 2016 the full recount cost roughly $36,000.

“Here again, I think we need to commend the clerk’s office for taking a step forward on this,” said Merry. “Just another effort to reassure the voters of Washington County that we’re trying to stay ahead of any potential fraud.”

He added that it is important to show that Washington County is doing everything they can to ensure voter integrity.

“We take voter integrity, election integrity, seriously,” added County Supervisor Jodi Schulteis.

The committee voted unanimously to approve the use of up to $50,000 in strategic priority funds to be used for a full recount of the governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate races by hand.

County Supervisor Chris Bossert recused himself from discussion and voting on the hand recount matter, because he is a poll worker for West Bend.

The Executive Committee’s next meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 19 in the Herbert J. Tennies Government Center, and it will be live streamed on the county’s YouTube channel.

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