L.A. County first in state certified to use open-source election technology

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By Signal Staff

A new vote tally system in Los Angeles County was approved Tuesday, making it the first publicly owned, open-source technology certified under the California voting systems standards.

Certification of the Voting Solutions for All People Tally, made by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, now allows the county to move forward with its newly redesigned vote by mail ballots for the Nov. 6 general election.

The goal, according to the county’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk office, is to revamp the voting experience by making it more accessible and convenient.  

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to implement a new voting experience for the voters of Los Angeles County,” said Dean C. Logan, the county’s registrar-recorder and county clerk.

The city of Santa Clarita will not directly use the technology as it no longer tallies locally. Since 2016, the city started consolidating its general municipal elections with the county, according to Mayumi Miyasato, a communications specialist with the city.

Despite that, the new system will help all ballots cast to be counted accurately and securely.

“With security on the minds of elections officials and the public, open-source technology has the potential to further modernize election administration, security and transparency,” said Padilla. “Los Angeles County’s VSAP vote tally system is now California’s first certified election system to use open-source technology. This publicly owned technology represents a significant step in the future of elections in California and across the country.”

The system underwent rigorous functional and security testing conducted by the secretary of state’s staff and a certified voting system test lab, as stated in a news release Tuesday.

The county’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk will issue the new vote by mail ballot packets on Oct. 9. Packets will include an easy-to-use, full-face ballot, return envelope, secrecy sleeve and an “I Voted” sticker. No postage is said to be required on the return envelope.

Though not currently available to the public, images and more information on the new tally system will be posted online at www.lavote.net, according to Mike Sanchez, communications specialist with the county’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

To learn more about further changes coming to Los Angeles County in 2020 through the Voter’s Choice Act, visit VotersChoice.sos.ca.gov or vsap.lavote.net.

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