County pitched on new voting machines


Gonzales County Commissioners Court was pitched on new hybrid electronic voting machines to be used for county-wide elections. Matt Kunz, a representative of Elections Systems and Software, explained the ExpressVote two-component universal voting system to the commissioners.

The system is comprised of a touch screen which prints and paper ballot and a scanner which  collects the vote and produces a paper record for tabulation.

“You’re going to get your election results much quicker on election night,” Kunz said. “You’re also going to have all the ballots as a paper backup.”

Kunz noted all of the equipment is standalone, not connected a network and not connected to the internet, thus reducing, if not eliminating, chances of hacking. Kunz also said that voters would still be able to use paper ballots with the system if they choose to.

Though the machines are powered by electricity, they do also have a backup generator for emergency situations.

“Sooner or later, it’s going to be mandatory for all counties to vote like this,” Gonzales County Judge Pat Davis.

Davis and Kunz made reference to both state and federal legislation that could help reimburse some of the costs of new voting machines to the county. In the end, the court did not take any action.

Other news from the meeting:

  • Minutes from the July 8 meeting were approved.
  • Monthly reports from constable precincts 3 and 4 were received.
  • The treasurer’s monthly report was approved. An affidavit stating the county treasurer has fulfilled the local government code requirements was also approved.
  • A contract for secure short-term detention of juvenile offenders between Gonzales County Juvenile Probation Department and Victoria County Juvenile Justice Center was approved.
  • Reviewing of precinct semiannual activity reports were tabled for the next meeting.
  • The final plat for Cannon East subdivision was approved.
  • A preliminary plat for Cost subdivision was accepted.
  • A subdivision variance request in precinct 1 was approved.
  • The Randle-Rather Building was reserved for open enrollment on Oct. 1-2.
  • The court opted to declare an emergency and replace the elevator in the Randle-Rather Building. Thyssenkrupp was the contractor selected for the project.
  • The court also declared an emergency to fix the roof at the Emergency Management Building.
  • A precinct 1 donation deed was approved.
  • Several vehicles abandoned and forfeited by the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office were approved to be auctioned off. Several other Sheriff’s Office vehicles were declared surplus and authorized for sale.
  • Budget amendments 39-42 were approved.
  • Bills were paid.