Think an election is rigged? Watch the equipment test

Williamson Co. officials prep for elections

Did you know you can watch election officials test the equipment?

Williamson County election officials hosted their “public test” Wednesday.

Poll workers are paid to enter electronic test votes from a control paper copy, with a variety of voting scenarios. The officials then compare the machines' answers to the paper copies.

"It's important because we want to make sure the machines are accurately reproducing the voter’s intent and in this scenario, these testers are playing the role of the voter," said Christopher Davis, Williamson County Elections Administrator.

The public is invited to watch the process, but most of the time, no one shows up.

"The public can come and observe, not a lot take us up on the offer, but we still do it, and it's a good way to see how we test a lot of these machines, that have always tested successfully,” said Davis.

On Wednesday, about a dozen people tested hundreds of ballots. Each political party was represented in the group.

Maria Fawcett is one of the poll workers paid to test the electronic system.

"It’s just public service and I like that, I like to be able to help out whenever I can," said Fawcett.

She invites her friends to watch the testing.

"This process of checking the machines and making sure everything is where it should be is important, and it's also important for people to know, like, they're invited to come. It is sad that they don't show up the way, you know, especially the ones that complain about it, especially for my friends, whenever they start talking about I don't like this, or anything complaints they have, I say why don't you come to the public test and I informed them about it," said Fawcett.

"We want to always reinforce the real, not just the perception, but the reality that there's integrity in this process and there's integrity in the way that we prepare the election, and there's integrity in this election as far as making sure everything works well and accurately reflects a voter’s intent," said Davis.

You can sign up to test the voting machines but must register with the elections office beforehand.

If you want to watch the test, the elections department will post a notice on their social media and in the local newspaper at least 72 hours prior to the test.

Election day in Williamson County is May 6.
 

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