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September 30, 2011 (Special Edition for County Clerks)New Voting System Extended Service & Warranty Contracts -
County/Local Commitment and Equipment Verification Needed
As mentioned in recent News You Can Use Issues 2011-37 (August 26, 2011) and 2011-39 (August 29, 2011), the State has entered into extended service and warranty contracts with Election Systems and Software (ES&S) and Dominion Voting Systems to ensure long-term, statewide service and warranty coverage for all voting systems in the state. These contracts will cover tabulator and AutoMark break/fix, preventative maintenance (optional for AutoMarks), and ongoing technical support for all tabulators, AutoMarks and related Election Management System (EMS) software that supports these systems.
The State has negotiated fixed pricing for warranty and support services for an eight-year term. Prices are lower than in previous contracts, set for the contract term and extended and available to counties and local jurisdictions. Tabulator support pricing is divided into two-year terms, as preventative maintenance will be scheduled once every two years; AutoMark support pricing is also divided into two-year terms. Payments will be made annually, for ½ of the two-year price. There are two pricing options for EMS support: a flat annual fee or a per-hour technical support fee. The EMS choices will be made at the county level, and EMS costs will be covered by the counties. The State will pay a portion of the EMS fees for smaller counties. The Bureau of Elections will contact these counties individually with additional details on this coverage.
At this point, the Bureau of Elections is working to establish plans for the first two-year service and warranty period. The State will cover 50% of all tabulator and AutoMark support costs for all counties, and for jurisdictions that are currently using or will commit to future use of the E-Poll Book (EPB) program. Single-precinct jurisdictions with fewer than 1,000 registered voters are exempt from this EPB requirement, but may still implement EPB if they so choose. (Note that this EPB exemption threshold may be revised up or down over time.)
For those jurisdictions not currently using EPB, implementation will occur gradually over the next year or two. NOTE: Jurisdictions that commit to using EPB in 2012, but not for their entire jurisdiction, are asked to contact Lydia Valles in the Bureau of Elections (VallesL@Michigan.gov) with details of their plan. The Bureau of Elections provides laptop computers and related accessories used for running EPB, paid for using Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds. We will initiate the next laptop purchase period before the end of 2011. The Bureau also provides up-front EPB training to all new users, and offers weekly hands-on training sessions in Lansing.
The immediate next step is to have each jurisdiction certify its commitment to begin or continue to use the EPB application for each election; and (for those committing to EPB), certify that they will be participating in the first two years of the voting system extended warranty program - committing to their share of the costs.
The attached form must be completed by each county and jurisdiction participating in this first two-year period. Along with certifications related to EPB and payment, we also need to establish the total number of tabulators/AutoMarks that will be covered in each jurisdiction. The contracts are designed to cover all equipment statewide; therefore backup tabulators, those purchased by the counties and additional units purchased by individual jurisdictions should be included in the totals.
Note that any jurisdiction that does not elect to participate in the EPB program (if required) or does not elect to enroll in the voting system extended warranty program will not be provided State funding support for this first two-year contract period; if those jurisdictions wish to participate in future phases, Contractors will require that they pay for previous coverage period(s).
Contract negotiated costs are listed on the certification form. Information on portions to be covered by the counties and individual jurisdictions is also included. Many additional pertinent details are included in the full contract documents. Both the Dominion and ES&S contracts can be found at www.michigan.gov/elections (click on Information for Election Administrators; then Voting Equipment). The Contractors will also be contacting individual jurisdictions to follow-up with additional details on how they will be moving forward.
COUNTIES: We are seeking your assistance in collecting and returning certification forms for each city and township in your county to the Bureau of Elections. The form can be found here:
Please share this form and instructions with your jurisdictions. If you are unable to handle this coordinating role, please notify Virginia Vander Roest as soon as possible at the email address listed below.
Completed forms should be scanned and emailed to the Bureau of Elections no later than Friday, October 14. Please ensure that each form is filled out fully and signed. Please send one email for your county, with one file attachment that includes all forms. Include "[County Name] Voting System Certification Forms" in the subject line. Please email these forms to Virginia Vander Roest in the Bureau of Elections at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, counties may mail a single packet of forms to Virginia's attention. Please send your forms only one time, using either email or hard-copy mail. Forms sent through the US mail should be addressed to:
Virginia Vander Roest, Bureau of Elections
PO Box 20126
Lansing, MI 48901-0726
Thank you very much for your assistance. If you have any questions, please contact the Bureau of Elections at 1-800-292-5973.
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