AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Travis County voters head to the polls on Nov. 8, the machines they’ll be using to cast their vote will be the same ones that have been in use for the past 15 years. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir says if everything goes as planned, in the 2020 presidential election, voters will get to vote on a new voting system.
Travis County is now taking bids for a new voting system called STAR-Vote™. The county’s Request for Proposal (RFP) is for the design, development, implementation, maintenance, and continued evolution of STAR-Vote. DeBeauvoir says the new STAR-Vote system will likely cost around $10 million for software and equipment, but will be less expensive than some other options.
“We look forward to reviewing proposals that will create a cost-effective, technologically secure voting system that includes a paper back-up, which is something our voters truly desire,” said DeBeauvoir in a press release. “I believe that it will redefine the polling place by using current technology that can evolve over time as laws, voter needs, and computer systems change.”
The biggest risk with older voting systems is that they’re more likely to crash, which can lead to long lines and lost votes, according to a 2015 report from the Grennan Center for Justice. DeBeauvoir says while they’re old, there is nothing wrong with the current machines and they are safe to use in the upcoming election.
The deadline to register to vote in this year’s presidential race is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Early voting begins Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8.
KXAN News will have full Election Night coverage on Nov. 8.