Elections certification aimed at accuracy, trust
By Hank Lohmeyer
Published Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:36 am
Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Testing of the equipment used in voting and counting election ballots was done last week at the county courthouse. Observing the procedure was county clerk and recorder Teri Stephenson (back left in photo).
The county elections department conducted a public test of voting equipment last week to help ensure voters that their votes are being counted completely and correctly.
Although the upcoming coordinated election will be conducted via mail ballot, there are still voting booth terminals and other electronic ballot counting equipment that must be tested and certified in proper working order before any voting takes place.
The county's equipment was tested and certified in good working order last week by county elections department staff and representatives of two county political party organizations.
In a nearly four-hour-long procedure, elections director Rene Loy, along with Anne Every of the county Democratic Party and Nancy Hovde representing the county Republican Party, put the equipment through its paces. The testing process was open to the public also.
Loy told the DCI the "public logic and accuracy test" is required to verify that ballots are tabulating correctly. Any necessary settings on the equipment are also made at that time.
After the voting and counting equipment is certified in working order, it is secured until it is put into use for the election.
Loy said ballots will be mailed during the week of Oct. 12.
Early voting will begin Oct. 26 at the courthouse and North Fork Annex where voting booth terminals, handicapped accessible, will be available for use.
At both of those locations there will also be a 24-hour drop box for depositing ballots until 7 p.m. on the official election day this year, Nov. 3.
Completed ballots may also be mailed and must include 49 cents postage provided by the voter. In order to be counted, ballots must be mailed to ensure their delivery by the 7 p.m. Nov. 3 election day deadline.