Frequently Asked Questions About TEAM
What kind of computer equipment must I have to use the TEAM System?
Answer: OS recommends the following minimum equipment for online counties using the TEAM System; however, as with any web-based application, your experience will be enhanced by a faster PC, printer, and internet connection.
- A broadband connection to the Internet.
- A computer workstation with at least the following:
- A minimum 500 MHz processor (1 GHz or greater would be preferable)
- 512MB RAM, 40GB disk (e.g., Dell GX620)
- Medium resolution monitor (e.g. 19 inch flat LCD)
- Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, or more recent operating system
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x web browser.
- Acrobat Reader 6.0 or better.
- A low volume printer capable of handling 8.5X11 or 8.5X14 paper size.
Note: Bar code readers must be able to process the bar code font of:
IDAutomationC39XS (72, 48, 36, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8 pt available).
- Can I use HAVA funds to upgrade my county computer equipment?
Answer: Yes. HAVA pays for the TEAM system, and there are some funds allocated for purchasing suitable PC’s to access it at the county level. Additionally, some funds can be used to make slight modifications to existing VR systems to make them generate the required offline county file formats for daily uploads.
- Where will I get support for using the TEAM system?
Answer: SOS will be providing the frontline support for the TEAM system, as they have been for the TVRS system it is replacing. Secondary support from IBM and Hart InterCivic will also be available to SOS, if needed.
- If I remain as an offline county, will I have to change my current system to interface with the TEAM system?
Answer: Yes. The formats for submitting data will change which will require some changes on the county end for offline counties. Online county users will be interacting in real-time with the TEAM system. TEAM is a statewide system, so offline counties will need to upload voter and election data daily from their existing offline systems, so that voter data is current at least on a daily basis. Offline counties may still inquire statewide through the TEAM interface.
- The TEAM System allows counties to create a “Plan” for each new election. Plans can be created from existing plans by copying for modification. Is their a limitation on how many Plans you can have?
Answer: No. However, you can have only one (1) active Plan at a time. The Active Plan is the one that defines your county's current elections and races.
- Can you delete a Plan?
Answer: Not if it has been frozen. A frozen plan means that election data has been captured for it, so it is retained for historical purposes.
- Does each election have to have a different Plan?
Answer: No. Once an election has been “frozen” it will freeze the Plan. However, a county can utilize a frozen Plan for other elections but you cannot alter a frozen plan -- no boundary or jurisdictional changes. If alterations to boundaries need to be made, you can copy the attributes of a frozen Plan, rename it and use the new “active” Plan.
- Does the State have access to the counties' Plans?
Answer: Yes. It is a statewide application. SOS can view each county’s plans, and may edit them with a county for support reasons. All counties may view other counties' plans, but may not edit them. These accesses are controlled by the levels of security around the roles assigned in the system. SOS delegates the county administrator role to a county official who assigns the rest of the county roles to other local county users.
- Will there be predefined roles and sets of permissions or will we have to customize permissions for every user?
Answer: Yes. There will be access levels that have preset access and restrictions to particular functionality in the maps to particular job responsibilities. A single user may have multiple roles. Each user will have a unique userID to access the system.
- Can an access level be assigned down to a specific field on a screen?
Answer: Yes. For certain screens and access levels, some fields will be display-only and editing will be restricted to those with sufficient permission levels (as determined by their user role).
- Can I download voters in a different county if they share a jurisdiction?
Answer: Yes. Through roles and permissions, the system could accommodate that.
- Would the "Plans" encompass the entire State?
Answer: Yes. Each county would be required to maintain a Plan that would map out the county boundaries by district/precinct relationship.
- I am concerned over how an offline county interface will work. How will the state issue a unique identifier and the county be able to capture the image of the application without having to do dual work?
Answer: The current county workflow must change due to HAVA mandate for SOS verification of an applicant’s driver’s license/ID or the last four digits of their SSN# through the DPS. The SOS is working with counties to make the new process more efficient by maintaining a replication of the DPS database locally at SOS to minimize verification time per transaction. However, we do not have this authorization when verifying an applicant’s social security number; those records must be sent to the Social Security Administration office to be verified. County internal procedures will need to be altered to accommodate this new business flow.
- I have a concern over the load of counties that will be online. If it proves stable, I will consider going online.
Answer: The system will be the “official” file for all counties and is being designed to manage the load of every county updating on a daily basis. The design and functionality of the system will allow an “offline” county to have access to the TEAM application through limited rolls and permissions to complete a particular task; therefore, all counties will be accessing the application on a daily basis. All system functionality and hardware has been analyzed to support the entire state.
- Can you assign an alias and commercial status for an address?
Answer: Yes. The alias address is used when an address has been renamed by the post office as an “address reclassification.” The alias address allows the street to be referenced as two different names for a given period of time.
- How do you maintain the "Plan" if you discover an address is in the wrong place? Can you create a list on a Plan before it is frozen?
Answer: You will have to deal with incorrect addresses the way you currently handle them. Yes, a list can be created before a plan is frozen.
- What are the cost and support issues to convert to the TEAM application?
Answer: The TEAM application is being built to support all 254 counties. The application is federally funded. At this time we anticipate no cost to counties for conversion and training on the new TEAM application. After the funding has been exhausted in about 7 years, we hope to get Legislative support.
- How are the Texas Online changes going to be handled in the new system when they are sent to the incorrect county?
Answer: Stronger legislation will be drafted to implement rules for the Texas Online application.
- The voter registration screen doesn't appear to be laid out well for data entry. Can it be changed?
Answer: It has been altered to look much like the Texas voter registration application form.
- Will we capture the user ID for an audit trail?
Answer: Yes. However, the audit trail is only as good as how you assign access levels and accounts. Each user must have their own userID/password for the audit trail to be successful.
- Can the street assign a suffix (e.g. Lane, Drive) automatically by the precinct level?
Answer: The system can be designed to accommodate that based on the street description and city specified.
- I am confused about the Plans. How many would have to be supported?
Answer: It is not necessary to create a different Plan for each election or jurisdiction. A Plan represents a snapshot of your county. A new Plan has to be created only when district lines are altered. You can continue to use one Plan and add new streets or subdivisions to it.
- I am very concerned over the issues for an offline county and how they will update and receive information from the State?
Answer: All import and export files will be submitted through a web browser application that SOS is developing. Counties will be issued unique userID’s and passwords (for security) to use this web browser application.
- I am concerned over the file space the State will have in trying to accommodate the imagined files. How fast will the retrieval be?
Answer: The file will be stored at the State level. An infrastructure has been designed that will support maintenance and expedite the retrieval of the files.