Registrar of Voters
Election Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday, February 15, 2019, 9:30 AM
Room 324A, Marin Civic Center
The Election Advisory Committee met on Friday, February 15, 2019, in Room 324A of the Marin Civic Center. The following members were present: Nancy Bell, Greg Brockbank, Cathleen Dorinson, Bonnie Glaser, Marcia Hagen, Ora Hatheway, Anne Layzer, Jeanne Leoncini, Damian Morgan, Peter Mendoza, Tom Montgomery, Sean Peisert, Bob Richard, Steve Silberstein, Cat Woods
Members of the Public: Charles Chamberlain
Representing the CAO’s Office: Dan Eilerman, Assistant County Administrator
Representing the Elections Department: Lynda Roberts, Registrar, Colleen Ksanda, Manager of Polls and Poll Workers, and Megan Stone, Office Assistant
Lynda Roberts opened the meeting and welcomed the Committee. It was noted that Megan Stone will be taking notes during the Committee meetings.
Committee Membership Update
Ms. Roberts announced that Damian Morgan would be rejoining the Committee. Also, that an invitation to join the Committee was given to Felecia Gaston of the Performing Stars Program.
Colleen Ksanda reviewed the way the CACEO (California Association of Clerks and Election Officials) examines current bill proposals and presented the current proposals that are under watch by the CACEO.
- Assembly Bill 17 and Assembly Bill 49: VBM ballots cannot be required in the workplace and VBM ballots to be sent at E-60
- Assembly Bill 59: vote center requirements on college campuses
- Assembly Bill 177: Election Day as a holiday
- Senate Bill 27: requires Presidential Primary candidates to provide tax returns
- Senate Bill 57: motor voters opt in rather than opt out of voter registration
- Senate Bill 72: requirement of satellite office(s)
Voting System Demo Day – Feedback
Ms. Roberts thanked the bid review team and the members who went to the voting system demo day on Wednesday, February 13. She reminded the members that there could be no discussion about the private information of the bids at the meeting. She also informed the committee that as part of contract negotiations, all vendors would be willing to work with the Registrar to scale down equipment should we move to vote centers.
Ms. Roberts opened the discussion to the Committee about the voting systems: ES&S, Hart and Dominion.
Committee members’ comments
A dual lock with one key ballot box system means high ballot security. It also has a high-speed scanner.
The machines fit in a suitcase size box (weighs less than 30 lbs.), which would be easy for the poll workers. The collapsible ballot box may be problematic. There is on-screen adjudication with ballot backup. The machine actions are tracked with an audit log, and a flash drive backup. The vendor is willing to hold workshops to help educate the public and increase voter confidence.
Their machines are used in 20 California counties. Candidates, or the public, can view electronic ballots in the case of a recount. The system uses commercial off the shelf equipment that follows a supply chain through the vendor. There is on-screen adjudication, an audit log of all actions made on the machine, and a flash drive backup. Electronic ballot images are appended with auditing information. The system uses large tablet screens as marking devices which would be beneficial to some.
ADA ballot marking device:
The ballot does not look the same as a regular ballot. The hand-held device (tactile interface) is not intuitive, and the cord is not long enough (a longer cord can be ordered). The audio was not synched with the visual on the screen.
Some thought this was the best ADA ballot marking device, but a voter had to hit the choice two times with no on-screen instruction (can add this feature for a cost). The tactile interface was intuitive.
The tactile interface was also good. The ballot does not look the same as a regular ballot.
All 3 Vendors
The ADA machine can be used by any voter. A vote center requires 3 machines. All have ballot on demand and work with the ADA machines.
Security: Regarding voter confidence and hackability, Hart would do well with a precinct election and Dominion with vote centers (scanner seems to have better security of scanned images left in machine overnight). All three vendors have encrypted thumb drives. Some concern expressed about a vote center model and leaving flash drives overnight. They can also be easily lost if transported back and forth each day.
Precinct vs. vote centers: Hart is a consideration for polling places due to its light weight and compactness with similar pieces.
Scanning speed: ES&S has the fastest scanner, but the auto adjudication is prone to systematic error which requires physical ballots on the back end.
Ranked choice voting: Hart is behind because of software imposed upper limits. Dominion is the most experienced, and the leader in California. ES&S is capable.
Other: The ES&S cost of a high-speed scanner is expensive. Dominion works with many Bay Area counties and beyond, including other states. They also have a local office and knowledgeable salesforce.
Important to have voter trust in the new system, protections against software hacks, a recorded electronic image, and audit trails. The software is examined as part of the system certification process and is provided through the Secretary of State’s office.
The Committee agreed to postpone the discussion of the revised objectives until the next meeting.
No updates/other business
The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
The next meeting will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019.