Four voting machine companies on Friday pitched their systems to a committee appointed by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams to look at moving the state to a universal voting system.
The Pilot Election Review Committee, or PERC, has been meeting for months and members checked machines from the four firms that provided equipment for eight counties in the Nov. 3 election.
“The PERC members bring vast experience from many different levels across the state of Colorado,” Williams said. “I appreciate their dedication and diligence and look forward to their recommendation.”
A video of the day-long hearing will be available at the Colorado Secretary of State’s website next week. The committee will next meet on Dec. 4, where pilot county election staff has been invited to discuss their experiences with voting systems and answer questions of committee. The committee is expected to vote on a recommendation to Secretary Williams at its Dec. 11 meeting.
The move toward a universal voting system for Colorado instead of the patchwork system it currently operates under actually began under former Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Williams continued the effort when he took office in January.
One large county and one mid-sized county were paired together to test machines from the four different companies. They are: Clear Ballot in Adams and Gilpin counties; Dominion Voting Systems in Denver and Mesa; ES&S in Jefferson and Teller and Hart InterCivic
The four firms touted their systems during the hearing.
“We are continuously on the cutting edge,” Jordan Este, the chief operating officer of Clear Ballot, told the committee.
Adams County Clerk Stan Martin is a huge fan, pointing out he was able to reduce overtime by 90 percent in the Nov. 3 election because of the system.
“Hart can minimize risks because we know Colorado,” Hart vice president Ron Clevenger told PERC.
“Awesome and efficient” was Douglas County Clerk Merlin Klotz’s assessment of Hart.
ES&S’s Bryan Hoffman said his company was the “best for Colorado.” Backing him up was Jefferson County Faye Griffin, who said Jeffco has been using the firm — although it’s name has changed several times — for more than 40 years. “I’ve always thought they were great,” she said.
Dominion executive Steven Bennett pointed out before the hearing that the firm’s pilot counties, Denver and Mesa, rave about the system and so do other Colorado counties that use the system but weren’t part of the test. The pilot consisted of updated equipment.