Brazos County hosts mock election to decide new voting technology

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Brazos County Election officials are planning to spend around $3 million to replace their electronic voting system. The county owns 420 voting machines.

Wednesday, the county asked for people to come in and use two different voting systems then take a survey. County Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock hopes the survey results will help them make a decision on which system to purchase.

“We have two different vendors. Hart Inter Civic, who’s our vendor now, and Election Systems & Software. Hart has two systems for us to look at. One is the electronic similar to what we have now. The other is a paper based. Elections Systems & Software, their system is paper based," said Hancock.

Hancock said the current electronic voting system used by the county is 15 years old. Newer systems are more secure.

"It's a lot more user friendly. Both the vendors have a really good product and they're both a lot easier for the voter," said Hancock.

"I think most of them can do the touch screen because most of them prefer that because they have the phones that they touch," said Bernice Ward. She has worked as a volunteer for Brazos County elections for many years.

"We started out with paper. Then, we had the punch and then we had the ones we are using now. This will be the fourth big change since I’ve been working," she said.

The county is also looking at options for disabled voters. Laura Ann Grymes is a College Station resident. She was born blind and uses a service dog.

"It is very important so someone can come in and be able to vote and I love how Brazos County has been working toward that goal. For years, the polling places have been accessible," said Grymes.

They expect to have a new system in place by the November 2019 election.