I-TEAM: How do you know if voting machines are accurate?


MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — With Election Day just around the corner, the FOX 8 I-TEAM investigated the chances your vote will be counted with no mistake.

Voters wonder how accurate are voting machines? So, we asked local election officials to show us.

An I-TEAM camera rolled in Medina County to get a glimpse of election equipment getting tested.

That happened as the election is already drawing crowds of early voters everywhere.

Voters in line told us the accuracy of the ballot box is a concern.

“I do think about it. I just have to trust in the system to be sure that it does count,” said one woman.

The head of the Medina County Board of Elections, Carol Lawler, said, “We have to have an accurate test until everything is perfect.”

She said the machines either get it all correct or they fail. Then, they get pulled to be fixed.

“If anything comes up with any type of discrepancy, it’s tested and retested until a perfect result,” Lawler added.

At the Stark County Board of Elections, Travis Secrest said, “The system is tested a number of times.”

He told us the system in Stark County gets tested before voting. Then, more testing gets done just before ballots are counted. And, even more testing is done after votes are counted.

“Once we get everything in and we count our results, then we do another test to make sure the system was functioning correctly,” Secrest said.

Different counties might use different machines and record your votes in different ways. But, every county has to follow rules for testing set by the Ohio Secretary of State. We took a look at those rules and found a long list of checks to be made involving every voting machine and back-up equipment, too.

In Cuyahoga County this week, we saw early ballots already getting loaded into machines in the county so that they can be counted quickly on election night.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections tested all of its equipment earlier.

All of this is part of a system that you expect to be perfect.

Another voter in line spoke to that.

“We’ve had this system in place forever, so we’re gonna have to trust it,” he said.

Voting machines also have to be inspected and certified by a state board before they are used for the first time.

Election equipment has to pass tests now to be ready for the big test November 3.

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