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The Origins of VISTA

In response to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) passed in 2002, the Local Area Network team of the Governor's Office of the State of Utah, designed, developed and implemented this critical software application and state-wide database for the Office of Elections in the Lieutenant Governor's Office.

29 Counties: 1 Solution

One of the primary benefits of VISTA, is that it eliminates inefficiency on many levels. For example, prior to the implementation of VISTA, each county throughout Utah operated its own database and used its own election software.

The State of Utah will now have one standardized software program and database to manage. The Voter Information and State Tracking Application (VISTA) will be the primary clearinghouse for voter and election information. As a result, the levels of data integrity and consistency have never been higher and this information can now be accessed in one centralized location. Think of VISTA as the State of Utah's one stop shopping resource for all things election and voter related.

Working Smarter & Saving Millions

Q: How was the State of Utah able to pay for the electronic voting machines that were distributed throughout the state in 2006?

A: Under HAVA, each state was allocated federal funds to implement a new voting system. Due to the fact the LAN Team was able to design, develop and implement VISTA in-house using a fraction of the allotted funds, the Office of Elections in the Lieutenant Governor's Office was able to use the remaining funds to purchase a large majority of the electronic voting machines for Utah's counties.

How Will Utah Benefit From VISTA?

The State of Utah and each of its counties are now better equipped to manage voter/registrant information and all that is associated with the elections process.

The benefits of this program are not only numerous, but far-reaching. Its design and functionality possess the ability to adapt to the ever changing needs of Utah's voters and their respective county's for years to come. Simply stated, VISTA is a hands-on exercise in:


One way in which efficiency manifests itself is in the fact that duplicate records of registrants will be eliminated over time. This can be done in a couple of ways, but the primary method is through merging duplicate registrants. This is something that counties are doing now to clean up their respective databases. This cumulative effort has a positive impact on everyone's database.

A second method eliminates the problem at the beginning of the process, by checking for duplicates based on a variety of search criteria before entering a new voter registration card.

Examples of some other processes that have been made more user-friendly include the following areas:

Petition Management : Managing local and state-wide petitions is a breeze in VISTA. After a packet of signatures has been added, a registrant's signature can be accessed at any time, as well as their petition history. In addition, each packet of signatures is broken down into statistical categories. Adding even more value to the petition process are the reports that are associated to it.

Absentee Ballot Management: The ability to issue, track, return, and manage absentee ballots and the overall process, is significanlty easier with VISTA. With a number of reporting options, finding out how many ballots have been sent out, returned and who has what ballot number only requires a few clicks.

Scanning Voter Registration Cards: Counties now have the ability to scan voter registration cards and upload the image to VISTA. Once the image is uploaded, it is associated with the voter's record. This image can be viewed by going into the voter's record at any time. In addition, the voter's signature can be captured from this scanned image.

Polling Official Management: When preparing for an election, do you enjoy creating your elections officials lists by hand? If so, you probably like doing things the hard and long way. If you like maximizing your time, creating an election officials list in VISTA is the smart way. This on-line tool allows you to create lists by polling place, track training expenditures and generate a variety of reports that will not only make the upcoming election more of a success, but vastly improve efficiency in future elections. back to top


Access: First of all, any county clerk or one of their approved staff members who are tied to the elections process can access VISTA at any time. VISTA is accessed on-line. While logging into VISTA is easy, it is highly secure, responsive and reliable.

Reporting: The ability to create and customize reports in VISTA is one of its greatest strengths. In short, a report can essentially be created for anything. Counties are now in a position to query an extensive state-wide database and secure the information that is required to maintain data integrity and keep a continual pulse on registrants/voters in their respective counties and throughout the State of Utah.

Public Service Requests: VISTA has significantly simplified life for those tied to the elections process and the management of registrant information in a variety of ways. One of these is the ability to create customized public service requests in minutes. A simple or comprehensive public service request can be created using criteria such as voting status, precinct, party, etc. back to top


The LAN Department of the Governor's Office (now a part of Department of Technology Services) has been committed to developing an innovative and extremely user-friendly, state-wide software application that will revolutionize how voter information and elections are managed. We believe that we have been successful in this pursuit.

To ensure success and that VISTA meets the expectations of those who will be using it, input regarding its design and functionality was solicited from four pilot communities initially. As each county was brought onto VISTA, the overall feel and functionality of VISTA was fine-tuned and made more powerful through the feedback of its users.

Although the LAN Department has been the primary driver in this continually evolving project, the development of VISTA has required the efforts of many. Particularly the counties of Utah. The success of VISTA can be found in the belief that the collaborative whole is greater than the sum of its parts. back to top


In short, this is the State of Utah's election management system and voter database. It is owned by the State of Utah and managed by the LAN Team of the Governor's Office. Each of Utah's counties are responsible for the management of their information.

The users of VISTA, primarily county clerks and those associated with election management are active participants in the evolution of VISTA. If the counties agree that a process change or idea will benefit everyone and add value to the system, it is implemented after investigating the matter fully from a technological and legal perspective. If a change needs to be made or technical support is required, there is not a middle-person that gets in the way of timely implementation and meeting the needs of its users.

While our opinions might be biased, we believe that one would be hard-pressed to find a more responsive, inclusive and dynamic system. Our confidence can be found in the great people that are associated with this program. back to top

Fiscal Responsibility

Simply put, the LAN Department of the Governor's Office has developed a software program that is fiscally responsible and incorporates best practices. As a result of developing the program in-house and utilizing existing resources, the State of Utah has created a software program that is far-reaching on benefits and short on costs.

In Comparison: VISTA cost significantlty less to develop and implement than off the shelf and outsourced solutions provided by other vendors and companies.

VISTA also promotes fiscal responsibility in the fact that the LAN Department provides the training and technical support. The ability to act as subject matter experts and respond immediately to issues saves time, which ultimately saves money and provides additional focus. The State will also save money as a result of not having to pay outside vendor's regular maintenance and service fees. back to top