Voting System Selection and Procurement
In July 2014, SBE asked vendors to submit proposals for a new voting solution for Maryland. Under State law, the system must be a paper-based system with tabulators for early voting centers, polling places, and central counting of absentee and provisional ballots and a device to allow voters with disabilities to mark and cast their ballots independently.
Four vendors submitted proposals, and SBE’s evaluation team reviewed the proposals and made a recommendation to SBE’s Procurement Officer. Relying on the evaluation team’s review and SBE’s certification process, the State Administrator recommended and the members of the State Board of Elections approved the contract award to Election Systems and Software Inc. (ES&S). The solution includes a tabulator for early voting centers and polling places, ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities, a central tabulator for counting absentee and provisional ballots, and a central database to aggregate results. The Board of Public Works approved the lease agreement for the new voting system on December 17, 2014.
Under State law, a voting system solution must be certified by the members of the State Board of Elections before it can be used in the State. To comply with this requirement, SBE staff conducted thorough testing of the voting system, held a public demonstration, and worked with the University of Baltimore to perform a usability and accessibility review of the system. As a result of these activities, SBE produced the following:
- Explanation of how ES&S’ system meets the State’s certification requirements and considerations
- Summary of feedback from the public demonstration
- University of Baltimore’s usability and accessibility report on ES&S’ system
Based on the documents above, the members of the State Board of Elections determined that ES&S’ voting system solution met the certification requirements and other considerations defined in Election Law Article, §9-102(d) and certified ES&S’ solution for use in elections starting in 2016.
For more information about the new system, visit What you need to know about the new voting system webpage.