Ensuring a secure voting process

Missy Bennett
Pocahontas County Clerk

Voting is one of the most powerful privileges a citizen can have. By voting, people have a voice in government by deciding who will represent them.
Citizens should be well-informed on the issues and the candidates before going to the polls.
In Pocahontas County, we must have clean and fair elections that people can trust. It is the County Clerk’s responsibility and goal as the county’s chief election official to establish and maintain this trust. The following practices and procedures are in place to insure the privacy and security of votes cast:
Maintaining an accurate Voter Registration List is a continual process. Each month a county clerk deputy reviews estate filings as well as published obituaries and removes the names of those persons from the voter registration roll.
A detailed pretest is performed on all iVotronic Voting machines, and a public test is performed on Early Voting iVotronics as well as an Election Day precinct iVotronic. These tests are transparent and are open to the public, the press and candidates.
The iVotronics and ERM [Election Reporting Manager] computer are stand-alone units, meaning they are not connected to the Internet and are not susceptible to hacking, viruses or vote manipulation.
Before any work begins during early voting or on Election Day, poll workers must take an Oath of Election. This oath states in part “that I will not disclose to any person how any voter has voted.” A poll worker cannot be an immediate family member of any candidate. All supplies are delivered to the precincts secured and cannot be opened until all poll workers are on site.
When you arrive at your precinct to vote, you are escorted to the iVotronic voting machine by a poll worker. After the poll worker has loaded your ballot, you are left to vote in privacy. As you mark your ballot, your choices are displayed on a paper trail for your review. When you complete and cast the ballot, the paper trail advances out of view assuring that the next voter and poll worker cannot see any information pertaining to your ballot or your choice of candidates.
Your vote is stored electronically and at the end of Election Day, each iVotronic voting machine is “closed” and the votes are collected onto a Master PEB (Personal Electronic Ballot) and secured for transport to the courthouse. To assure proper transport of election supplies, two poll workers – one from each political party – are required to transport supplies in the same vehicle.
Once they arrive at the courthouse, the PEB is unsealed and its contents are entered into a computer using Election Software. The results are recorded by totals – not by individual ballots.
Neither the iVotronic Voting Machines nor the PEB stores any information that identifies a voter.
An election is a very complex process, this article addresses only a part of the procedures in place to ensure a successful and secure election.
You can be confident that the iVotronic voting system and the election process provides you, the voter, the right to a secure and private ballot.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Pocahontas County Clerk’s Office at 304-799-4549.

more recommended stories