Election officials show how machines are balanced to count votes

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Election fraud, you’ve heard the term. It’s what local election officials work to protect against.

“Prior to every election, we test every piece of voting equipment that is going to be used, and we put in known votes, and we make that it reports through with the votes we put it in,” says Tabitha Lehman.

So KSN asked election officials to see just what goes in to preparing the election machines.

First the hand-written ballot machine. The office runs through about a couple thousand test ballots to calibrate the machine making sure it is properly counting each vote.

“We go through our test process with these with our pre-determined test stack of ballots,” says Election official Sandra Gritz. “So the ballots are marked in a pre-determined pattern so that we can easily audit the results.”

The process is very similar on the electronic ballots.

“In an election at the polls, they would print a zero tape for each polling place that would show the results are zero at the beginning of the election.”

The machine is balanced to make sure it records the ballot accurately from each voter.

“That way it is not giving credit for one persons vote to another,” says Gritz.

Finally the drives from the machines are taken into this secure room to be counted.

“These actually go into this room and I sit in here on election night and enter all of these into the system.”

You can go to the Election Office the Friday before the election in the morning and election officials will take you through the process and show you how they balance the machines.