New Election System an Advancement,
Apathy Cure Ongoing
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
May 2, 2002
As of last week, your Commissioner's Court took the first major step toward modernizing our voting system. The current system is not only incredibly slow, it is expensive and antiquated. And though we are turning a page of Bexar County electoral history, we will do so at the appropriate pace for voters.
With the new system, we should be free of attempting to print an incredible number of ballots or fearing that not enough have been printed. At present, a very educated but still fallible, guess must be made so that sufficient ballots are printed. During early voting at any of roughly twenty-eight locations, a person may vote on any one of at least 195 different ballot configurations per party in the primary that are necessary to enable anyone in Bexar County to vote.
When are we going to implement this new equipment for its first election in Bexar County? The earliest would seem to be 2003. There will be a showcasing opportunity this year for voters to familiarize themselves with the new equipment.
How long will it take after the election is concluded at 7 p.m. to get the final results? Probably as of the second election with the new equipment we should receive our results before the 10:00 o'clock news.
The ballpark price of the entire system is about $7,000,000.00 which includes four components:
- Voter registration,
- The election equipment itself, early in-person,
- The election equipment itself, early by-mail,
- Election day.
One of the big questions here will be: to lease or to purchase? Given the rather quick obsolescence of all high technology equipment, a purchase would seem shortsighted.
Your Commissioner's Court will also deal with need for high-tech storage capability, meaning a climatized facility. The dispersal of quadrant storage locations for pick-up and drop-off of equipment by election judges would also seem to be necessary and wise.
We did not address the important question of election judge´s and clerks' pay, which is dismal and not indicative of the value we purport to attach to our right to vote. That too, should be addressed if we are to handle our elections with the proper level of finesse.
All this having been said, the act of voting remains your right. We are confident that your experience exercising that right will improve as never before with the new equipment.