Trouble finding vendor to build Travis County voting system

There have been a few efforts to supplement the existing voting system market with new systems, built more-or-less ground-up by counties with a blue-sky approach.  The counties start with a list of attributes and functions rather than grafting new features to an existing product: if we could build a voting system from scratch, what would it look like?

These are crucially important efforts at innovation.  Even better, the work to build a system anew tends to be as innovative in process and approach and design as it is in outcome.  I’ve been involved with a version of one of these efforts in Los Angeles, and it’s been a revelation.

From electionLine this week comes an unfortunate report from Travis County, TX, which had another one of these exceptional efforts: it looks like they’ve been unable to find a vendor or package of vendors to fulfill the RFP.  Still, the Travis County leadership deserves heaping helpings of praise for the effort, undertaking as much work as they did to try to make it happen, and leaving themselves enough time and space to do it right.  I share the hopes of Dana DeBeauvoir, county clerk in Travis:

While disappointed that the county was not able to move forward with STAR Vote, DeBeauvoir is optimistic that someone will create such a system.

“I hope it will be picked up in the future by a non-profit or another county,” DeBeauvoir said. “The 2016 election was a watershed that should cause new developments in voter verified paper trails and new security programming for future voting systems. Voting system manufacturers will have to listen and respond to these latest demands.”

(h/t Doug Chapin)

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