SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – With voting machines that are ten years old and growing concern about voter fraud and election rigging the Clark County Board of Elections is gearing up for an unpredictable general election.
Election officials have tested all their voting machines that will be used, throughout the county’s 90 precincts at 51 locations, on Election Day.
Director Jason Baker said with Ohio being a key battleground state, there’s no room for error, especially during a hotly contested and widely viewed presidential election.
“All the machines are operating the way they need to be operating. That’s why we test them. That’s why we do the public test,” Baker said.
Election Day, the machines print out early exit polls, at varying times throughout the day, as voters cast their ballots.
Once the polls are closed, each machine tallies the vote for its precincts on a memory card. The cards are secured in a bi-partisan manner and immediately taken to the board of elections headquarter. In a matter of minutes the results are uploaded and quickly reported out. The paper ballots along with all voting items are also secured properly as a backup.
“It is very imperative that it is done accurately and correctly the first time. You don’t have second chances,” Baker said.
It wasn’t just the machines that were getting a pre-election refresher. Poll workers are also being trained up until Election Day to minimize human error.
“Not only are we able to have the checks and balances based on if something were to happen, “Voter Fraud” is what the question for the day is right, there are multiple checks and balances that’s one reason why our provisional process exist,” Director of Training, Clack County Board of Elections Bradley Campbell said.
The Clark County staff have already processed nearly 10,000 absentee ballot requests. The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office said absentee ballot requests this election cycle are running ahead of those in 2012.
“We actually see a larger turnout in the absentee side than we actually do in the precincts, but we also pre-plan for the scenario in which they don’t come to vote early and they actually come to the location,” Campbell said.
After testing the equipment, the voting machines along with memory cards were all locked inside a secure vault until the general election.