Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry is thrilled to announce that she has signed contracts to purchase new, state-of-the-art election equipment that will thoroughly modernize Will County’s voting systems.
The new election equipment and related software will replace outdated tabulators and voting devices, some which are decades old and functioning on ancient and unsupported software platforms.
County Clerk Staley Ferry earlier this year worked closely with the Will County Board’s leadership team, including Chair Judy Ogalla, Republican Leader Steve Balich, and Democratic Leader Jackie Traynere, as well as with Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, to secure County Board approval for $7.8 million in funding for this critical modernization program.
After a review process that spanned nearly two years, the County Clerk has selected the following companies:
- Governmental Business Systems (GBS) is a Lisle-based provider of Hart InterCivic election equipment. The County Clerk’s Office has purchased Hart InterCivic’s Verity line of secure election equipment for tabulating paper ballots, reporting election results, and supporting robust post-election audits. Verity equipment includes state-of-the-art Verity Scan tabulators and Verity Touch Writer ballot-marking devices to assist voters with disabilities. Hart InterCivic is based in Austin, Texas and provides tabulation equipment and software to election authorities across the United States. The County Clerk is also pleased to forge a relationship with GBS, a local company headquartered in the western suburbs, to provide critical support services for the new line of Hart InterCivic equipment.
- Tenex Software Solutions is a Florida company that will provide the Clerk’s Office with new pollbooks, a new voter registration system, and a new elections management system. Tenex has strong footholds in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, California, and Idaho to name but a few states. The company last year began establishing itself in Illinois with its line of exciting election software solutions that are well-designed, robust, and intuitive. Tenex’s software will enable the Will County Clerk’s Office to update its voter registration rolls and manage its elections with the greatest efficiency. The new pollbooks will streamline and simplify the process of checking in voters for Election Judges who work in busy Polling Places and Early Voting locations.
“The companies we have partnered with and the new equipment and software we have purchased will completely upgrade Will County’s elections on behalf of our voters,” Staley Ferry said. “I thank the Will County Board and its forward-thinking leadership team for making this important investment in our democracy.”
The Hart InterCivic tabulators and ballot-marking devices are designed to function with paper ballots that document and record a voter’s intent for secure and verifiable elections. The tabulators use digital scanners to read boxes marked by voters next to their selections on paper ballots. All tabulators are isolated and operate independently with no wireless communications capabilities to prevent potential exploitation by hackers. All software associated with the new equipment will function on the most-recent supported platforms.
Election Day tabulators and ADA ballot-marking devices that the County Clerk’s Office had been using were nearly 20 years old and could not be replaced. Repairs for broken units were made with refurbished parts.
This purchase will complete the modernization of Will County Clerk’s election functions that began in 2021 with the automation of the office’s Vote By Mail operation. County Clerk Staley Ferry worked with the County Board to secure funding for the upgrades following a dramatic spike in Vote By Mail requests spurred by the COVID Pandemic and new state legislation.
“My goal from the start was to bring our local elections into the modern era on behalf of Will County voters,” County Clerk Staley Ferry said. “I’ve worked in partnership with our Will County Board to deliver on that commitment. The 2024 elections will complete the modernization of our elections systems and provide our citizens with the efficient voting experience they deserve.”