The Smith County Communications Office strives to promote transparency by providing the public with the most accurate, accessible and up-to-date information possible while promoting the county's brand and message of "Striving for Excellence."
Located on the first floor of the Smith County Annex Building
200 E. Ferguson, Suite 100
Tyler, Texas 75702
Email: Casey Murphy
Smith County Purchases New Voting System
The Smith County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to purchase a new voting system that will ensure the integrity of elections in Smith County going forward, and replace aging voting equipment that is currently being used.
ExpressVote is a universal voting system that uses touch-screen technology and produces a paper-based record for tabulation. It gives the voter the ability to double-check their ballot on screen and on paper before depositing that paper ballot into the voting receptacle box.
“It was an upgrade to what we already had,” said Elections Administrator Karen Nelson. “This system uses the best of both the electronic and paper balloting systems in a combined fashion to give voters an easy and secure voting experience.”
Mrs. Nelson said the process of looking to upgrade the machines began about four years ago when the state was preparing counties for upgrades to accommodate the aging process of current machines.
The Commissioners Court identified this system in April 2018 as the likely replacement equipment for voting machines following the recommendation of the Elections Administrator. Throughout the month of May the machines were set up in the Elections Administration Office for viewing by the public. The Elections Administrator, Karen Nelson, noted that the equipment received only positive reviews and alleviated any security concerns by those who tested the machines.
The cost of the new equipment will be approximately $1.25 million. The county has been saving for these upgrades and is paying for them in cash through the fiscal year 2019 capital improvements budget.
“The changes are going to enhance the voter experience, ensure reliability and verifiability of all votes, and enable Smith County to have the most secure voting possible,” Mrs. Nelson remarked.
“I’m excited the county is stepping up to buy state-of-the-art equipment. It should be a great benefit for election security and for constituents,” said Precinct 1 Smith County Commissioner Jeff Warr.
The ExpressVote machines are anticipated to arrive in Smith County in December, according to Mrs. Nelson. Training on the machines could begin as soon as January 2019, and will first be used in the May 2019 elections.