Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item

Approve the County Clerk/Elections Department’s lease with Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. for a new voting system in the amount of $1,649,409, with annual payments of $206,176, and authorize the County Clerk to sign the agreement and take related actions, as recommended by the County Clerk


Department:County Clerk / ElectionsSponsors:County Clerk Gail Pellerin
Category:CLK/ELECT - Board LetterFunctions:General Government

Financial Impact

$206,176 yearly payment with a dollar-for-dollar match from the State. This lease payment was included in the fiscal year 2019-20 proposed budget along with the matching funds, therefore no additional General Fund contribution is needed. Contract 20C4393 for Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. for G/L 214000, subobjects 62227, 62381, and 62500.

Board Letter

Recommended Action(s):

Approve an equipment lease agreement with Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. in the amount of $1,649,409, with annual payments of $206,176 beginning Fiscal Year 2019-20 and continuing for eight years, and authorize the County Clerk to sign the agreement, any associated software license, equipment maintenance, support agreements and financing agreements that may be required.


Executive Summary

The County Clerk/Elections Department requests the Board approve a contract to lease a new voting system, including a remote accessible vote-by-mail ballot and other voting related equipment, in the amount of $1,649,409.16 to replace the current voting system that was decertified by the Secretary of State effective August 29, 2019. The Board approved the County's participation in the Voting System Replacement program on May 14, 2019. The County will receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to $1,009,500 of State allocated funds to assist in replacing the voting system and other voting related equipment starting with the 2020 election cycle.



The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-252) (HAVA) enacted many changes to the voting processes and procedures. One such change mandated counties to make polling places more accessible to voters with disabilities. To make those changes, HAVA grants were awarded to the County of Santa Cruz, which helped to purchase a voting system that provided voters the ability to cast a ballot privately and independently regardless of their disability.


The County of Santa Cruz received a HAVA award in 2006 along with funds appropriated by the State through the Voting Modernization Board to be used primarily for voting equipment. That was the last time that counties received monies earmarked specifically for voting systems and equipment.


Assembly Bill 1013 (Chapter 906, 2018) requires all counties have a remote accessible vote by mail system (RAVBM) in place by January 1, 2020, to allow voters with disabilities to request an accessible vote by mail ballot (Elections Code 303.3, 3016.5, 3116.5, 4005(a)(5)).


Assembly Bill 1824 (Chapter 38, 2018) appropriated funds from the California budget to reimburse counties for voting system replacement activities utilizing a dollar-for-dollar basis.


On February 27, 2019, the Secretary of State informed Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections that our current voting system will be decertified for use as of August 27, 2019, and a new voting system certified with the California Voting Systems Standards must be purchased or leased by the March 2020 Presidential Primary election.


On May 14, 2019, the Board approved Santa Cruz County's participation in the Voting Systems Replacement Contract to receive matching funds allocated by the State for replacement of the county's current voting system.



This contract will allow for the lease of an auditable, secure paper-based voting system with accessible units that will be used at the polling places, satellite offices and the elections office starting with the March 2020 Presidential Primary Election. The new voting system also includes the tabulation equipment and the remote accessible vote by mail program that will be utilized by military and overseas voters as well as voters with disabilities that wish to vote by mail. Approval of this contract will also allow Santa Cruz County to be compliant with HAVA and state standards for voting systems.


Leasing the equipment allows for changes in the voting environment of upgrading more easily, adding equipment if needed, or eliminating equipment if the County chooses to change to the vote center model in the future. 


Strategic Plan Element(s)

6.A (County Operational Excellence: Customer Experience) - In addition to conforming with Federal and State law, a new voting system will improve the voter experience and provide a more secure and auditable voting system that is in line with the County Strategic Plan.


Meeting History

Jun 25, 2019 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson