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Public invited to demos of new voting machines being considered by Jefferson County

By 2026 all Texas counties will have to use a voting machine capable of producing an auditable paper record of ballots cast.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Jefferson County is giving residents a chance to take a peek at two new voting machine systems, one of which you may be casting your vote on this November.

The county will be choosing a new voting machine from either Hart InterCivic or Election Systems & Software (ES&S) to comply with a new state law that takes effect in 2026.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from February 2022.)

The two companies are the only two voting equipment vendors approved in Texas according to the Jefferson County Clerk's office.

The new law will require all Texas counties to use a voting machine that is capable of producing an auditable paper record of ballots cast.

Some of the largest counties in the state have already modernized their systems in the past few years.

On June 7, 2022, representatives from ES&S will be demonstrating how their system works. The public is invited to attend the 1:30 p.m. demo in the jury impaneling room at the Jefferson County courthouse according to Interim Jefferson County Clerk Laurie Lester.

RELATED: Jefferson County officials approve purchase of new voting machines in hopes of protecting integrity of future elections

Hart InterCivic representatives will visit the next day, June 8, 2002, at 1:30 p.m. to demonstrate their machine.

The general public, including all Republican and Democratic Party members and those who are disabled, are encouraged to attend the demonstrations Leister said.

The county received a grant form the Texas Secretary of State's office to cover the cost of the new equipment.

The county currently has one of the oldest voting systems in Texas, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick told 12News in February 2022.

"If we purchase them this year and have them in place by the November election of 2022, then we're reimbursed for the full cost of those machines," Branick said at the time.

"You will still go to a computerized screen and vote, and then a piece of paper will be printed where you can look at it and confirm that that is who you wanted to vote for and then you will go over to a scanner and the scanner will scan your ballot," Leister told 12News in February.

After your vote is counted, your paper ballot is kept for 22 months as required by the new state election law she said.

The paper trail will help ensure the integrity of future elections she told 12News.

"The voter will be able to see who they voted for and that's really the purpose,” Leister said. “There won't be any question about if the machine was...whatever, fixed or anything else anybody ever worried about."

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