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Collin County holds public ballot testing

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Latest

Interested residents of Collin County had the opportunity to attend a public demonstration of the ballot counting process and test of voting machines before early voting begins Oct. 24.

The testing was conducted at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Collin County Elections Department, which is located at 2010 Redbud Blvd., Suite 102.

The public test is required by state law and one of three checkpoints for the county, said Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet, who has been an elections administrator for 34 years — including seven in Collin County. Beside the public test ahead of early voting, county election officials check the equipment is functioning properly after early voting concludes and after all votes are cast in an election as part of the post-election audit.

To conduct the test, election officials used vote totals from a past election. Prior to the counting of ballots, Sherbet read a result sheet verifying no ballots had been entered into the machines prior to the logic and accuracy test.

Ballots were then fed into the county’s voting machines that are used to tabulate the final results. After all the test ballots were cast, officials conducted a final count in front of representatives for the county’s Republican and Democratic parties and members of the public.

In addition to representatives of the two major political parties in the county, members of the public were invited to cast their own test ballots and ask questions.

Some residents queried about the involvement of third parties in the election process.

Sherbet said the county contracts with Election Systems and Software but the employees are directly overseen by members of the election department. There is also a three-member vote counting team that is responsible for tallying the results.

“That’s part of the check and balance system within our elections,” Sherbet said.

The county also oversees a number of elections for a multitude of races that will be on the ballot this November, including those for cities and school districts in Collin County.

“We have federal, state, county and contractors on this ballot,” Sherbet said. “We’re testing all of their results.”

The Oct. 7 demonstration was a required public logic and accuracy test, which is required at least 48 hours prior to the start of voting, said Sherbet. This year, the county added a public parallel test for residents.

“We prepare test ballots and test every known vote capability including overvotes, undervotes and provisional,” Sherbet said. “Every single aspect of voting is tested on each piece of equipment being used, including the server in the counting station to verify accuracy.”

For the full story, see the Oct. 12 issue of The Wylie News.

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