Johnson County Election Office's 2015 Capital Budget Submission for Next Generation Voting System

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System submitted every year since 2010, still not acknowledged by Johnson County's County Manager

System submitted every year since 2010, still not acknowledged by Johnson County's County Manager

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  • 1. Capital Improvement Program Capital Impact Johnson County, Kansas Department: Elections Project Title: Next Generation Voting System Approved By: Brian Newby Directions: Please answer the following questions. Type only in the gray boxes. Attach supplemental information if applicable. Contact your budget analyst if you need assistance. 1. Describe the project request. This is a renewed/continued funding request for the next generation of voting equipment used in Johnson County. The current system has been in place since 2002, replacing a system that had been in service for 15 years. It is expect that the current equipment, also, will have been utilized for 15 years at the time of replacement. The Board of County Commissioners included funding for this new system in the 2011 and 2012 capital budgets. Initially, $10 million was placed in an out year, within the 5-year view, and that number was reduced by the county manager to $5 million in the 2012 budget and eliminated in the 2013 budget. The cost is inevitable, however, and adequate funding must be earmarked for the day that the county has no viable option but to immediately purchase a system. 2. Explain the project need. How is this need currently being met? Johnson County utilizes 2,407 DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) touch-screen voting machines. In addition, Johnson County averages 3 mail-ballot elections per year. In these cases, and for the nearly 70,000 advance-by-mail voters Johnson County processes annually, the Election Office utilizes two ballot scanners. These voting machines and scanning results upload into a tabulation server at the Election Office. 3. How does this project relate to the Board of County Commissioners’ Strategic Priorities for Johnson County or departmental goals? Elections are considered an essential service in Johnson County. Operations of elections is vulnerable with this antiquated system. 4. Summarize and attach any preliminary studies that have been conducted. Johnson County is at the forefront of the elections industry in terms of equipment replacement. That’s because Johnson County was the first community in the country to use touch-screen voting machines at polling places; Johnson County’s system was implemented approximately three years before most communities utilized some funding from the Help America Vote Act
  • 2. Capital Improvement Program Capital Impact Johnson County, Kansas (HAVA) to implement new systems. Johnson County’s HAVA funding allowed for the purchase of nearly 600 machines and additional 525 have been purchased with voting system equipment reserves to bring the fleet at its current level. While some machines have been implemented later than others, all were manufactured in 2002. In looking at processes, Johnson County has examined and benchmarked three procurement efforts: a. Johnson County’s own effort to obtain the current fleet—Johnson County has the foresight to create a book that documented the process for other communities in the country to utilize. b. Los Angeles County’s process to create a new system—this county is the largest in the country and is utilizing innovator IDEO to map its requirements and procurement process. c. Travis County, Texas, (Austin)—Travis County is undertaking a process that would require systems to be open source, proprietary to Travis County. At this time, no vendor is seriously planning on bidding for such a system in Travis County. Los Angeles County and Travis County likely will have new systems selected before Johnson County. Implementation, however, may be at the same time—likely the 2017-18 timeframe. Johnson County utilized a college intern to map out a procurement process that incorporates learnings from these processes and obtain voter and stakeholder feedback when developing requirements. The process envisions an open recruitment of vendors and vendor solutions, ranging from a similar system to Johnson County’s today to a “Bring Your Own Voting Machine” concept that pushes the cost of capital to the end users. 5. Provide a detailed project timeline beginning from project approval, through design, construction, fully occupied, and fully operational. While the process has been developed, the costs are relatively unknown. Johnson County has obtained vendor bids to replace today’s system using equipment certified and available today. These bids were used to initially determine the CIP funding, although the amount put into the CIP budget was less than the $12.8 million for voting machines or $7.1 million for a paper-based system, respectively. It’s worth stressing, also, that by vote of the people, Johnson County moved to voting machines in the 1960s. It is unclear whether any system can be implemented, other than voting machines, without voter approval. The process is included in the attached outline. This outline is part of a larger presentation developed by the Election Office summer intern.
  • 3. Capital Improvement Program Capital Impact Johnson County, Kansas 6. Describe in detail the nature of the services provided with this capital request. Check which of the following best describes this project (see instruction/guideline page for definitions): Replacement X Enhancement/Upgrade Growth X New Service Provision 7. What alternatives have been considered to this project, i.e. lease vs. purchasing, outsourcing, cooperative or shared purchasing? Please elaborate. This project will require complex financial evaluation by the RFP selection team. Once the CIP schedule and funding is established, the team will be formed to begin this process. In the meantime, it is prudent to consider extended utilization of existing equipment, perhaps augmenting it with more “unused but old” machines identical to those utilized today. Vendors have hundreds of these machines, priced at about $400 each (once $2,500 each). Additionally, there is likely some cost payback analysis that can be conducted to determine how much savings the county could incur if it DID NOT utilize the existing fleet. In other words, equipment preparation and transportation expenses may be hidden additions that artificially inflate the cost of holding on to equipment. It could be that a new system—eliminating these expenses or at least reducing them—makes the total cost of a new system cheaper. It’s also worth evaluating having a third party entity, owned by the county, purchasing the equipment and leasing it to the Election Office. For non-countywide elections, this may allow for greater cost recovery by the jurisdictions that pay for elections in these cases. Statutes do not allow for the cost of voting machines to be allocated back but the statutes to allow for recovery of lease expenses. Finally, if a decision is made to further “sweat the assets” of the existing system, funding for the new system still must be planned. Perhaps it could continue to be pushed back, but it must be included. Historically, a common part fails among machines and, if and when this occurs with Johnson County’s system, there will be tremendous urgency to replace the system immediately. 8. If this is a building project provide detail on the square footage and life expectancy of the building. N/A
  • 4. Capital Improvement Program Capital Impact Johnson County, Kansas 9. Please outline what sustainability best practices were considered in the development of this project. The entire equipment replacement project considers the sustainability of the current fleet of equipment. From an environmental standpoint, paper ballots with scanners is a poor solution from a sustainability standpoint. Voted ballots cannot be recycled and, instead, must be shredded. Financial viability will be the primary sustainability component considered for this project.
  • 5. Tentative Timeline  • Present to RFP: 12 months. – Advice: 8 months  – Formulation: 4 months  • RFP to Implementation: 36 months. – Selection: 14 months  – Implementation: 22 months • Total: 48 months  • All the above stages are described in the ‘detailed process’ section. 3/4/2014 6 Legend Advice: Consultation with internal and external  groups to accrue baseline research. Formulation: Engaging the baseline research to  formulate an RFQ, Draft RFP, and an RFP. Selection: Engaging the RFQ, Draft RFP, and RFP to  select a suitable voting system. Implementation:  The systematic process of accruing,  testing, and using the selected voting system. 
  • 6. While we are going to analyze numerous  systems some are out of scope: Out of Scope In Scope Antiquated, Obsolete Technology: Current Technology: ‐Punch Cards ‐Direct Recording Electronic Machines  (DRE) ‐Lever Machines ‐Optical Scanners  ‐Paper Ballots  Distant Future Technology: Emerging Technology: ‐Internet Voting ‐Bring Your Own Voting Machine (BYOVM) 3/4/2014 7
  • 7. Overview of Our Process 3/4/2014 11 Legend Advice: Consultation with internal and external groups to accrue baseline research. Selection Committee: Primary committee which helps formulates RFP and write contract.  Technical Advisory Committee: An advisory committee composed of technical experts. User Advisory Committee: An advisory committee composed of a diverse group of voters. Requirements: The aggregate information gathered in the preceding stages which states what is desired of a new voting system. Formulation:  Engaging the baseline research to formulate an RFQ, Draft RFP, and an RFP. RFQ: Request for Quotation  Pre‐RFP: Pre Request for Proposal RFP: Request for Proposal Consult with BOCC and SOS: Prior to the public release of the RFP, these two parties will be engaged. Selection: Engaging the RFQ, Draft RFP, and RFP to select a suitable voting system. Testing: Choosing one voting system out of the many submitted. Implementation:  The systematic process of accruing, testing, and using the selected voting system.  Procurement Plan:  Timeframe of implementation and writing of contract. Mock Election: A test of the voting system engaging an election that is not live. Live Election: Using the newly acquired voting system in its first live election
  • 8. Committees • The Johnson County Election Commissioner will  form three (3) committees to help assist with the  process and provide vital input and feedback.  • These three Committees are:  – Selection Committee – User Advisory Committee  – Technical Advisory Committee  3/4/2014 12
  • 9. Selection Committee • This committee works throughout the project to formulate the RFP,  write the contract, and choose the desired voting system. • Composed of:  • Election Commissioner, Chair  – Deputy Election Commissioner  – Assistant Election Commissioners  – County Budget Representative  – County Facilities Representative – County Purchasing Representative – County Legal Representative  – County IT Representative 3/4/2014 13
  • 10. User Advisory Committee • This committee is created to acquire voter input  throughout the entirety of the process from a diverse  group of Johnson County voters.  • Voters from different political parties will be chosen.  • Voters with varying disabilities will be chosen. • The committee membership is capped at twelve (12)  members, not including alternates.  3/4/2014 14
  • 11. Technical Advisory Committee • This committee consists primarily of citizens, but  also some internal staff who have an expertise  and interest in technical matters.  • The committee will help to guide the process  along proper technical channels.  • The committee membership is capped at twelve  (12) members, not including alternates.  3/4/2014 15
  • 12. Structure of Committees • All committees are led by a chair to be  designated by the Election Commissioner.  • All committees will meet at regularly  scheduled times, be apprised of information  necessary to fulfill their respective roles, and  report their findings and/or discussion results  to the Election Commissioner. 3/4/2014 16