Barton Co. election officers: Machines tested for accuracy

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GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — Articles reporting on allegations of rigged voting are popping up all around the web.

KSN had similar concerns brought to us by residents of Great Bend.

“We’re hearing a little more in this particular election about voters being uncomfortable with the voting process,” said Barton County election officer, Donna Zimmerman.

Barton County election officials said, amidst the concerns, they’re trying to reassure voters the machines are tested for accuracy.

“We test it before it goes out for each and every election. We test it when it comes back,” Zimmerman said. “We know that it’s tabulating correctly when it goes out, it’s tabulating correctly when it comes back in.”

Zimmerman told KSN’s Amanda Aguilar she doesn’t ever remember a complaint from a voter at the polls, saying they thought the ballot recorded the wrong vote. However, she wants voters to understand the testing process.

She said the machines were tested in mid-October, but KSN had the chance to see just how these machines are prepared.

When the machines are tested, election officers use a kind of “testing flash card” and insert it into the machine. Then, a ballot device containing the test ballot registers all the test information in the voting machine.

“We’re actually loading that ballot on the equipment right now, and making sure that it does test correctly, that it matches up with the paper ballot and that it is able to count each and every race,” Zimmerman said.

County officials lock up all of the equipment when it is not in use, and numerous seals are put on to prevent equipment tampering.

Election officers say they want to be transparent about the voting process. Zimmerman encourages people to call or visit the office if they have any questions.