Politics

Election officials report no issues following voting machine test

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Election officials in Indiana’s most populous county on Friday said voters can be confident their ballots will be counted properly following a series of tests.

Election staff tested a random sample of voting machines, including tabulators, at Marion County’s election service center Friday morning. State law requires each county to test the machines publicly before Election Day, Nov. 8.

Brent Stinson, the deputy director of the Marion County Board of Elections, says the machines were chosen at random by Ball State University’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program, the body tasked with auditing Indiana’s elections.

“They decide, based on our serial numbers, which machines will be tested. We have no say in that,” Stinson said.

Staff unsealed, tested and resealed a total of 100 ballot marking devices along with 12 tabulators and a pair of high-speed tabulators. Stinson said this represents 5% of Marion County’s total inventory of voting equipment. Election workers entered a set of results into the machines and then compared them with the results they were supposed to get for the test election. he said staff found no issues with any of the machines.

“I’ve been here for four years and I don’t recall any errors once we’ve gotten to this point,” Stinson said, adding staff have already conducted multiple tests by the time the public test takes place.

The test came days after U.S. intelligence officials warned Russia was trying to amplify claims casting doubt on the integrity of the nation’s election system, though they added there was no threat to the election infrastructure itself. Stinson said he was unaware of any threats to Marion County’s systems. News 8 also asked about any concerns over physical site security. Stinson said no polling location hosts have expressed any worries about disruption.

Voter registration ends on Oct. 11 and early voting begins the next day. Stinson said if you encounter any issues while voting, you should notify poll workers immediately. They will declare your ballot spoiled and give you a new one. Voters in Marion County receive a paper printout of their selections, so Stinson said to check this carefully before you submit your choices.