Alameda County Taps Touch-Screen Voting System

Global Election Systems Inc. of McKinney, Texas, announced Aug. 16 that Alameda County, Calif., will buy the company's AccuVote-TS touch screen voting equipment and associated services for about $13.5 million.

The purchase, which is subject to final negotiations, will include approximately 4,000 AccuVote-TS touch-screen ballot stations with associated software and services.

Alameda County will be the first major jurisdiction in California to move from punch cards to a countywide touch screen system since the November 2000 presidential election. The county has used punch-card voting for more than 25 years and processed more than 494,000 votes in the last presidential election.

"The Alameda County election environment is unique because of its multiple languages and multiplicity of ballot styles. These are functional requirements that are easily accommodated by our AccuVote-TS touch screen system," said Brian Courtney, chief executive officer of Global Election.

Using the touch-screen system, voters will be able to cast their ballots in any one of seven languages: English, Spanish, Tagalong, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese. The system will also allow visually impaired voters to cast votes without assistance, Courtney said.

Global Election said it expects to finalize an agreement with Diebold Inc. of North Canton, Ohio, for the manufacture and assembly of the AccuVote-TS units. Diebold already produces touch-screen devices for several Global Election customers.

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