Miami-Dade County Elections Department tests voting machines ahead of primaries

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Miami-Dade County Elections Department is getting ready for the upcoming primary election and is currently testing voting machines.

"We want to encourage all of our registered voters to come out and vote," Miami-Dade County Elections Supervisor Christina White said. 

To make sure that happens without a hitch, the elections department conducts special testing of its equipment ahead of the upcoming primary election, scheduled for Aug. 28. 

"Today, we are doing what is called a logic and accuracy test, which is essentially a confidence test," White said. "What it shows to our voters and to the department is that our equipment is capturing the votes as it should and tabulating them accurately."

The test uses special ballots with pre-selected votes. 

Testers already know what the outcomes should be. The ballots are run through the machines as normal, and at the end, if all goes as it should, the results should match the predetermined outcome. 

"State statute requires that we test a minimum of 5 percent of the units that we are going to be deploying for the election. In Miami-Dade, we go above and beyond," White said. "What we do is we test every ballot variation that we have in the election, we test all the equipment for Election Day, for early voting and vote by mail."

In an age where cybersecurity is a constant concern and foreign threats to our elections are coming from Russia and other places, Miami-Dade County has taken steps to secure its digital machines. 

"We not only have experts within my department for IT-related matters, but I am also fortunate enough to have another department within Miami-Dade County that's dedicated to cyber and physical security," White said. 

The outcome of Wednesday's test will be transmitted by a follow-up press release upon conclusion Thursday afternoon.

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