September 22, 2021

Supervisors approve new voting software

Software to verify voter identities approved for purchase

New streamlined voter intake software, which will help to prevent voter fraud and improve voter identification, was approved by Jasper County Board of Supervisors.

The new software will be provided by Tenex Software Solutions, and will soon be used for all county elections.

At the Sept. 7 meeting, county auditor Dennis Parrott argued the case for the software, stating the current software, especially the tech support, has been disappointing and difficult to use. Both the accuracy of voter information and voter fraud are two big issues the new software will help address.

“With the current software poll workers have to type in all the information during polling check-in by hand, which takes up a lot of time and can lead to mistakes,” Parrott said. “With the new software people will be able to scan in their ID’s, and all locations throughout the county will be connected to one system here at the courthouse, so no person can vote twice.”

Parrott also emphasized the comprehensive tech support provided by Tenex. Reps from the company can be on site during elections to help working troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

“Do you think the new software will be ready in time for the Newton School Board elections?” supervisor Denny Carpenter said.

“I think it will be,” Parrott said. “Once the system proves itself and we know what we’re doing with it we can begin training everyone who will work with it.”

A big advantage of the new hardware will be the touchscreen technology. The new registration devices will be much easier for workers to navigate. They will use the touchscreens for about 90 percent of their work. It will be fantastic, Parrott said.

The purchase of the software will be spread out over two fiscal years, with $33,127 being paid this year, and another $33,127 paid next year.

“Do you have enough in your budget for this big of a purchase?” Carpenter said.

Parrott acknowledged the high cost, but defended the purchase.

“This purchase does fit within our budget. We looked at a few companies for the new software, but Tenex was the best choice,” Parrot said. “According to their sales pitch we won’t have to update any of our hardware for about seven years. That means less time needing to teach poll workers about new systems and fewer kinks to work out on election days.”

The supervisors approved the purchase and upgrades, commending Parrott for his research into county wide improvements.

Contact Abby Knipfel at 641-792-4687 ext. 6531 or at aknipfel@shawmedia.com

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them