Kathy A. Rogers
Election Systems & Software, Inc.
SVP of Governmental Affairs
Johnson County Election Office
Election Office Administrator
Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker announced at this morning’s Board of County Commissioners meeting that Election Systems & Software (ES&S) has received federal and state certification for a new software release that will be used in the November election. The updated software resolves the issue that caused the slow reporting of Johnson County’s election results in August.
Once the issue had been identified and corrected, ES&S submitted the updated software to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for certification on September 5. The software received federal certification from the EAC on October 4, followed by state certification from the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office on October 11.
“ES&S thanks the EAC for their expedited and extensive testing to ensure that the new, optimized aggregation code works as expected,” ES&S President and CEO Tom Burt said. “We also thank the Johnson County Election Office and the State of Kansas for their ongoing cooperation in putting this updated solution in place.”
The updated software was independently tested during the federal and state certification processes, but extensive testing was also conducted at ES&S headquarters in Omaha and the Election Office in Olathe. Using the same equipment that will be used in November, the testing sought to confirm the performance of the updated software in a range of conditions. Testing began with a replication of the August primary election before additional load was added to simulate the vote totals of a gubernatorial election, presidential election, and beyond.
“We were able to upload and report results quickly in every scenario,” Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker said. “Successful testing on our equipment in our office was a priority for us because that was the only way we could ensure our voters and taxpayers that they can expect timely election results in November.”
With the updated software tested and certified, Metsker and his team are focused on additional preparations for the November election. More voting machines and more election workers will greet Johnson County voters at the polls in November.
“We have a record number of registered voters and unprecedented interest in the voting process, and it’s our job to meet that increased participation with the same convenient, consistent voting experience Johnson County voters have come to expect from our office,” Metsker said.
Election worker training begins next week, but election workers are still needed to help Johnson County voters at the county’s 195 polling locations on Election Day. Election workers must be registered voters in Johnson County willing to work from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6. They are trained and paid: $110 for Election Day and $50 for training and hands-on practice. Applications will be accepted through October 24 at jocoportal.org/apply.
Advance voting will be available for two weeks at six locations in Johnson County beginning October 22. Voters can vote at any of the six locations. Election officials are encouraging voters to take advantage.
Metsker said, “Advance voting is fun, fast, and flexible, helping voters avoid Election Day lines and vote at a time that fits their busy schedule. They can vote close to home, close to the office, or close to their child’s soccer practice.”
ABOUT THE JOHNSON COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE: Serving a record number of registered voters in 2018, the 17 full-time employees of the Johnson County Election Office administer all federal, state, and municipal elections in Johnson County, Kansas. The Election Office is led by Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker, who was re-appointed to a four-year term in August 2018. For more information on upcoming elections: jocoelection.org | f/jocoelection | @jocoelection
ABOUT ES&S: Election Systems & Software has been dedicated to secure, accurate elections throughout North America for nearly 40 years. The ES&S team is committed to developing integrated voting solutions that improve the voting experience, are secure, accurate and flexible, meeting a variety of jurisdictions’ needs and voter preferences. Learn more about ES&S at www.essvote.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/essvote.