2017 Voting Systems Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

October 23, 2017

Registrar of Voters
Voting Systems Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, October 23, 2017, 9:00 a.m.
Room 410B, Marin Civic Center


Representing the Elections Advisory Committee
Sean Peisert, Bob Richard, Cat Woods

Representing the Elections Department
Tony Aquilino, Melvin Briones, Colleen Ksanda, Lynda Roberts

Representing the CAO’s Office
Dan Eilerman



Lynda Roberts opened the meeting, and thanked the members for attending.

New voting system purchase – next steps

Points to consider

  • Timing of purchase—need a new system by 2019; consider a purchase for 2018 if feasible
  • Systems certified by the Secretary of State
  • RFP process
  • Cost
  • Counting ballots at polling places or central counting all ballots in Elections Department
  • Integrity of the purchase process
  • Taking recommendations to the Board of Supervisors


  • Jurisdictions in other states may be able to provide information about systems being certified in California.
  • People going to the polls want to see their ballot counted in front of them.
  • Systems currently being certified can scale up or down depending on need, such as changing to vote centers in the future.
  • Counting all ballots centrally could cause an issue with public perception.
  • The process for purchasing a new system in 1999 included a committee of about five people consisting of staff from the Registrar of Voters/Treasurer/Tax Collector and IT Departments, plus a member (or members) from League of Women Voters.
  • Trying to get a new system in place in 2018 may not allow enough time for a thorough process.
  • Waiting until 2019 to purchase a system may cause problems and challenges including multiple-card ballots and slower counting of vote-by-mail ballots due to non-functioning feeders. The current system is certified to run with Windows 2003, and server failure would cause a major problem.
  • Since County of San Luis Obispo uses the same equipment as Marin, perhaps the Elections Department could acquire some of their old equipment.
  • How long will it take to implement a new system?


  • Form a selection committee consisting of Dan Eilerman, Sean Peisert, Elections Department staff, someone from IT and Finance Departments, and League of Women Voters. Other possible members could include someone from County Counsel’s office and someone from outside Marin County.
  • Include equipment demonstrations as part of the RFP.
  • Develop a list of criteria to use when ranking systems.
  • Explore the feasibility of purchasing a new system for November 2018.


  • Dr. Peisert will work with Mr. Aquilino to gather system experience reports from jurisdictions outside California.
  • Ms. Roberts will check with San Luis Obispo about acquiring some of their old equipment.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.