Voting machines checked for primary election

Voting machines checked for primary election

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Elections officials and official observers have checked more than 700 pieces of equipment that will be used for the Aug. 9 Primary Election.

The testing happened Saturday in a Kakaako warehouse. It's an exercise that happens every two years to make sure that votes are counted properly.

"We're testing the logic and accuracy, so official observers, who serve as the eyes and ears of the community, are basically running ballots through to make sure they're working properly," said state Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago.

The machinery will be going to the 142 polling places on Oahu on election day, as well as the early voting sites at Kapolei Hale and Honolulu Hale.

Most of the voting machines will count paper ballots. But the electronic voting machines also got the once-over to make sure that everything is secure and that no one can try to change the votes from the outside with a wi-fi or any other wireless connections.

"I try to get to be governor and see if I can hack the system," said election observer Dave Harris. "And everywhere you look in this system, yes, it is very secure."

Elections officials also said they've taken steps to avoid a repeat of what happened to years ago when 24 Oahu polling sites ran out of paper ballots, which delayed the first printout of results for two hours.

"After last election we re-evaluated to make sure that our procedures were going to work," said Nago. "We implemented new procedures and basically we don't expect to run into what we did in the last election."

The tests were conducted and overseen by official observers, which include an independent group of representatives from the various political parties, along with civic and community groups.

"It should send the message that there is a lot of integrity in the whole process from start to finish," said official observer Cindy Vaillancourt.

After the testing, the machines will be locked up until they're needed for the election, said Nago. Similar tests will also be conducted on neighbor island machines, as well as the overall ballot counting system.

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