Election system tested by registrar


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Members of the Accuracy and Logic Panel for Tuesday’s election, from left, county staff members Justin White and Daniel Garcia demonstrate to Sheriff Tyson Pogue, Susan Rowe, District Attorney Sally Orme Moreno and Janice Gomes the logic and accuracy test for Tuesday’s election.

 

On Tuesday, an important election will select a new California governor, assembly members, school board directors and a number of measures and propositions.


Recently, Madera County Clerk, Recorder and Registrar of Voters, Rebecca Martinez, invited members of law enforcement, concerned citizens and the media to view the logic and accuracy testing of the voting system to be used for the General Election. 


On October 7, all registered voters in the county were sent a vote-by-mail ballot that included a postage-paid return envelope. The objective is to make voting as easy and accessible as possible. This is to ensure no voter will be disenfranchised in Madera County. 


Ballots should be marked using blue or black ink so the counting machines can visually read each vote cast. For best results, color in the oval next to each candidate or measure.


In attendance were Sheriff Tyson Pogue, District Attorney Sally Orme Moreno, County Administer Jay Varney, Janice Gomes, Susan Rowe, along with Madera Tribune Photo Editor Wendy Alexander and Senior Staff Writer Tami Jo Nix.


Members of Martinez’ staff that performed the test were Justin White, Daniel Garcia and Jacqualyn Luna.


Explaining and testing the system, Martinez had the panel vote mock ballots, including write-in votes. Members of this same panel were invited to come back on election day and bear witness that the vote-counting machines are set to zero before any ballots are counted. The system consists of three scanning machines.


On election night, the ballots will be collected by teams of at least two poll workers who unlock the ballot boxes, remove the contents, put them in a zippered bag(s), apply the bag’s lock and return them to the Madera County Government Center at 200 West 4th Street in Madera.


After the election, the clerk’s office has 30 days to certify the results and forward the information to the California Secretary of State.


During this time, the process known as canvass is performed. All the ballots will be recounted, multiple times as necessary, and staff members will visually verify the votes on ballots that were improperly cast. Reasons for the machine to reject a ballot may be that a pencil or odd color ink was used to vote. In some cases, an “X,” may have been used instead of filling in the oval. The staff tries hard to count every vote.


All ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day.


Unofficial results will be announced a few hours later.


This makes for a long day for Martinez and her staff. Running an honest and fair election upholding her oath as county clerk is the focus of this aspect of her elected office.