RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia will be getting a new statewide voter registration system, state Department of Elections Commissioner Susan Beals announced Monday.
The state has awarded a contract to The Canton Group to build and put into place the state’s new system, replacing the 15-year-old Virginia Election and Registration Information System, or VERIS. The state Department of Elections says the new system is projected to go live in February 2025.
The General Assembly approved funding for the new system in 2021, and the Department of Elections reviewed three proposals before selecting The Canton Group.
Implementing the new system is anticipated to cost $13.5 million, and the Department of Elections will have the option to renew the contract for the new system yearly, with annual hosting, along with maintenance and support services that will cost $2.9 million yearly for up to 10 years.
It has been allocated $29.6 million in state and federal money, so far, to cover the cost of the new system.
“As election technology and security requirements have increased, the need to replace our current voter registration system has become imperative,” Beals said in a news release.
Beals said the switch had broad support, and the new system would support the state’s electoral process by improving the technology and security, and streamlining workflows and processes for voters, election officials and department staff.
The features of The Canton Group’s statewide voter registration system include:
- Expanded candidate management tools
- Enhanced features for absentee voting
- Streamlined voter registration workflows, including pre-registration of 16-year-olds and same-day registration enhancements)
- Improved functionality for election night reporting, including reporting by precinct
- Increased election security capabilities
- Ballot proofing
- Ranked choice voting
- GIS capabilities
- Ability to manage poll workers
- More robust correspondence and reporting functions
The Department of Elections will partner with local general registrars to evaluate and review the new system’s functionality as it is developed and put into place.
The Canton Group has worked to update elections systems in California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Missouri, and for more than 10 years has served the Maryland State Board of Elections in multiple phases of modernizing their systems through three major election cycles.