MicroVote - voting technology on Guilford - by Mario Morone (from BRG v16n15 p. 1)
posted: Jul. 26, 2019
MicroVote CEO and owner Mandy Miller recently spoke on the record about her election equipment and support company. "We sell and service electronic voting machines. We are currently in 50 of the 92 counties in Indiana and in 47 of the 95 counties in Tennessee and starting to expand into Kentucky," Ms. Miller mentioned.
She explained how clients determine what voting technology they use. "The counties actually purchase the equipment, so they own their own machines. They decide on which ones to use. They have the opportunity to be self-sufficient or we offer end-to-end service from designing the ballots all the way through to tabulation on election night."
Microvote CEO and owner Mandy Miller.
photo courtesy of Mario Morone
Her career path at MicroVote has been uncontested. "I started in 1996 as a customer service representative. Computer software training was my background and I taught our customers our software platform. In 2001, I was promoted to director of operations and then in 2015, I became the chief operating officer. In 2018, I was offered the opportunity to purchase the business from the previous owner, Jim Ries.
A local company, Carson Manufacturing, has manufactured the voting machines MicroVote has distributed since their beginning in 1982. Carson also manufactures police sirens and circuit boards.
Ms. Miller noted the rewards of her work. "It's very difficult to find a job that you like going to everyday. I've always looked forward to working here every day. It's always been a very flexible work environment and you get to be very involved in all the aspects of the business." We cross-train our employees in many areas so they can be involved in many parts of the business. We have very dedicated and loyal employees. We do not see a lot of turnover. Everybody gets the opportunity to do lots of things, so they stay engaged in the business. Every time there is a project, we collaborate on it. After 23 years of working at MicroVote, I'm very proud to now be the owner."
With their employees being cross-trained in various aspects of MicroVote processes, they not only gain valuable knowledge in helping their customers, but also learn a broader understanding of the company's operations.
MicroVote's role in elections is multi-faceted. "We help our clients on everything from creating ballots, conducting poll worker training, public tests, election day support, to distributing electronic Poll Pads used to check in voters. We begin working on elections months ahead of time. For the (May 7th) primary election, we began this process in February, getting ballots ready and getting the approval of the county. The next step is testing. A public test is required in each county prior to each election, the public is invited to attend. You are not only testing the voting machines but also the election night tabulation system. Then Walk-In Absentee voting begins, which leads you up to Election Day. There is a lot of preparation that goes on prior to Election Day, months of preparation," she explained.
"We are also a distributor for the KNOWiNK Poll Pad. That is an Apple iPad that is used to check in voters during absentee voting and Election Day. By using the Poll Pad and the Infinity Voting machine we can electronically check the voter in, allow them to vote, and offer a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT). The state of Indiana is going to be using the VVPAT (Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) in a pilot program this November and every one of our 50 customers will use it across the state in the 2020 election. It really only adds one additional step to the voting process and will ease the minds of those who do not trust electronic voting machines," Ms. Miller noted.
According to MicroVote's website, www.microvote.com/products, the VVPAT is a printer used in conjunction with a DRE (Direct Record Electronic) voting system. It is an add-on feature that can be used with the MicroVote Infinity Voting Panel. It provides a paper record of the voter's selections. It is a paper solution with some significant benefits other systems may not have.
"Our complete end-to-end system helps the election staff tabulate and certify their election results. It also helps to make it a very seamless process, making it easy, quick and more efficient for the voter," Ms. Miller noted.
She concluded, "Everything we do is to ensure that your election day runs smooth and that everyone has a positive election experience from the poll workers and voters to the election staff," which is a point few voters could debate.
MicroVote's knowledge of related-elective technology and development keeps security, accuracy and privacy at the forefront. That is a motto that CEO Mandy Miller and her staff will continue to successfully run on.