PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, a good amount of focus has been placed on ballot security.
Vote-counting equipment at county election offices are undergoing tests to ensure accuracy and security. Washington County ran through a series of test ballots, some blank, some fully filled out, and some with test patterns. So far, no errors were detected.
“We just want this to be a transparent process.” said Washington County Elections Manager Dan Forester, “We want the voters in Washington County to know how we run elections.”
Observers raised questions about whether the machines used on election night could potentially be accessed via the internet. After the elections, an audit is conducted in which a required hand count of random sample votes is compared to a machine count.
“One thing I’ve heard a lot is concern about how these machines might be connected to the internet.” Forester said, “I think it’s really important to remember that tabulation systems are not connected to the internet, they’re on closed networks and they are secure.”
Paper ballots are kept on hand for two years following the elections and then shredded, but a computer image of each ballot remains intact.
In Multnomah County, about 5% of voters have returned their ballot, and some people have reported receiving texts from an unrecognizable number reminding them to turn in their ballot, but the voter information in these texts, including their address, is often incorrect.