From Tallahassee to Ocala, they are On the Road Again – Marion County Supervisor of Elections and staff, in partnership with VR Systems, hosted a roundtable discussion on the EViDs (Electronic Voter iDentification). Because, “It is more important than ever for elections officials to feel confidence in their elections equipment and processes.”, VR Systems Inc., based in Tallahassee, Florida wanted to listen to the counties who use their product.
EViD was developed by VR Systems in 2004 and is currently used in 33 counties (out of 67 statewide). EViDs have handled over a half million voter check-ins, streamlining the voter check-in process. The procedure provides a secure check and balance to the voting process. It is a cost effective way to maintain accuracy and efficiency in elections.
The Ocala based campus of the Marion County Supervisor of Elections office afforded a prime space to accommodate the partnership between vendor and clients using EViDs. The Hon. Paul A. Stamoulis and several members of his staff joined him in Ocala on February 26th, 2009. Representing Charlotte County Blanche, Assistant SOE, Lori, IT Director, Jenine, Marketing and Special Projects Director, Sandy, Qualifying Officer and Office Manager, Bonnie, Poll Worker Coordinator and Lou, Elections Support joined the new Supervisor of Elections, along with representatives from approximately twenty-three other counties, all of whom use EViDs.
The purpose of the meeting was to address upcoming changes in the pipeline for the EViDs. The vendor facilitated discussion of best practices and areas of improvements, anxious to hear from each of the counties as to what kinds of things they would like to see improved going forward. Lori, Charlotte County’s IT Director, was citied for her diligence in testing ahead of time in preparation for an upcoming election. The vendor recognized all of the hard work and tireless efforts that have helped Charlotte County live true to their mission of holding successful elections.
Throughout the day subjects covered and discussed in detail included staging of hardware and RMAs, training poll workers, election set-up, logistics including movement of hardware, testing of hardware and backup failover plans. A great forum for networking with peers afforded everyone the ability to hear directly what is important to those counties represented. A tour of the Marion county facility provided a first-hand viewing of what can be done with space and supplies along with a lot of ingenuity. We also heard how different counties deal with poll workers, staging of equipment, security and testing and other concerns related to the EViDs.
VR Systems, parent of the EViD, in partnership with their clients, are very interested in hearing from those counties using the EViD. They want to know what works and they are interested in what improvements are being requested in order to maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction. The twenty-four counties represented shared a wealth of information. The networking opportunities again were invaluable. All in all, the roundtable experience proved to be a valuable use of time and travel. The more user-friendly and capable the equipment, the more confident officials can feel when conducting elections.