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December 20, 2011 (Issue 2011-54)
2012 Electronic Poll Book Laptop Procurement Program
Editor's Note: This grant period is now closed. Please watch your MERIT email and News You Can Use for announcements on the 2013 e-Pollbook grant.
The Department of State's Bureau of Elections is pleased to announce the third rollout of the Electronic Poll Book (EPB) program. This program will provide laptop computers to city and township clerks who wish to use the QVF's EPB software. The State has agreed to cover 50% of the voting system extended service and warranty contract costs for jurisdictions that implement the EPB program in 2012. If you have signed up for the 50% State coverage of the extended service and warranty contracts, you must participate in the EPB program. You may select which election to rollout the EPB in 2012.
Approximately 700 jurisdictions now participate in the EPB program. The response from clerks who use the software has been very positive. The EPB software provides the following:
· Accurate jurisdiction-wide voter look-up
· Ability to look-up, verify and issue a ballot to a voter in one step
· Auto tracking and completion of the Ballot Summary
· Quick and accurate voter history uploads
For jurisdictions that participate, the Bureau of Elections will purchase one laptop computer and associated peripherals for each precinct in the jurisdiction. The number of precincts listed in QVF will be used to determine the number of laptops a jurisdiction will receive (Absent Voter Counting Boards excluded). In addition, each laptop comes with a four-year warranty. This program is funded by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
Jurisdictions that wish to participate in the program during the 2012 Election cycle must complete a Grant Agreement now. In addition, any jurisdiction that is already participating in the program is entitled to receive additional laptops and peripherals if the jurisdiction has added precincts.
Grant Agreement Required for 2012 Election Cycle Participants
In order to participate in the E-Pollbook program, city and township clerks must complete, print, sign and return a Grant Agreement to the Bureau of Elections.
Fill in the following information (in gray on the Grant Agreement):
1. County and jurisdiction name at the top of page 1.
2. Number of precincts in the jurisdiction (page 5). The number of precincts must be the same as the number of precincts listed in the QVF. Special notes:
3. Implementation Date Request (page 5). There are two choices listed: February 28, 2012* and August 7, 2012.
4. County, jurisdiction, name, title and signature on page 6.
*IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION DATES: The Bureau of Elections is attempting to obtain a sufficient number of laptops for those interested in implementing EPB in conjunction with the February 28, 2012 Presidential Primary. However, it is unknown at this time whether laptops will be available to support a February implementation timeline. Jurisdictions that are interested in implementing in February are asked to complete and submit Grant Agreements as soon as possible, but no later than January 14, 2012. Jurisdictions who are not interested in implementing in February should select August 7, 2012 as their implementation date and return their signed Grant Agreement no later than February 15. 2012. (NOTE: Those who select August implementation but also have a May election may be able to implement in May; contact the Bureau of Elections for further information if you have a May election and are interested in this option.)
This Grant Agreement is similar to the Grant Agreements issued for voting systems. The Grant Agreement also serves as the user agreement. Be sure to read the Grant Agreement carefully before signing it. In addition to the items listed below, the county, city or township must agree to a number of procedural and security requirements.
The Grant Agreement requires you to:
1. Use the EPB software for all elections. You will be asked to verify in writing that you plan to use the EPB prior to each election.
2. Permit the laptops to be used for the conduct of school, village or other consolidated elections.
3. Attend an EPB Training session provided by the Bureau of Elections before use.
4. Use the laptops only for EPB or similar election-related purposes.
5. Establish a receiving board for every election.
Laptop computers and peripherals will be distributed to jurisdictions at the successful completion of a mandatory training session. More information regarding training sessions will be provided as the sessions are scheduled.
If a Grant Agreement is not received by February 15, 2012, we will presume that you do not wish to participate in the program in 2012. The original Grant Agreement must be returned by mail (NOT by email or fax) to the following address:
Michigan Department of State
Budget Services Division, Grant Section
430 West Allegan, 4th Floor
Lansing, MI 48918
If you cannot return the Grant Agreement by the dates listed above but wish to participate in the program, please contact the Bureau of Elections at the phone number or email address listed below as soon as possible.
In order to participate in the EPB Laptop Procurement program, cities and townships must have access to QVF. A jurisdiction that does not have a traditional QVF system or QVF Lite may participate if the jurisdiction's county clerk agrees to download the EPB data for that jurisdiction prior to each election. For information on how to become a QVF Lite user, contact the QVF help desk at 800-310-5697.
County clerks play a very important role in training precinct inspectors. County clerks are eligible to receive a laptop and peripherals for use in training.
The Bureau of Elections will purchase laptops and accessories using existing State contracts with Hewlett Packard and other vendors. The Bureau of Elections will provide the following for each precinct:
Upon receipt of the properly completed and signed Grant Agreement, the Bureau of Elections will procure the laptops and accessories. The laptops and accessories will be shipped directly to the Bureau of Elections in Lansing and will be distributed to individual jurisdictions at training sessions. Each jurisdiction will be required to fill out a user receipt/acceptance form provided by BOE, certifying that the clerk received the number of laptops ordered and that the laptops are in working order.
The laptops and accessories become the property of the county, city or township upon receipt and acceptance. All maintenance outside of warranty work is the responsibility of the city or township.
Clerks must place HAVA stickers (provided by BOE) on each laptop and maintain inventory control as outlined in the Grant Agreement.
The Bureau of Elections will only provide laptops for jurisdictions that wish to use the EPB software. This program does not include the purchase of laptops for use with the E-Precinct List software. The E-Precinct List software is generally used only to look up voters, update voting history and to ensure that voters are in the proper precinct.
No additional maintenance beyond the four-year warranty will be provided by the State. Also, the State is under no obligation to purchase EPB laptops after the purchase period.
If you have any questions regarding the EPB laptop program, please feel free to contact the Bureau of Elections at Elections@michigan.gov or at 517-373-2540.
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