No hacking! South Florida voting machines undergoing testing

Election departments making sure everything in check before March 17 primary

DORAL, Fla. – Security is at the top of the list for the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. In Doral, they were busy testing machines gearing up for the March 17 primary election.

The logic and accuracy tests being performed cover everything from how to open the equipment to transmitting and tabulating results.

“I also like to call it a ‘confidence test’ because it proves to us and our voters that the voting equipment has been coded properly," said Christiana White, Miami-Dade County Elections Supervisor.

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Ballots will be cast according to a predetermined outcome and then tabulated and reconciled to make sure the equipment is accurately capturing votes. With a 20 to 25 percent voter turnout expected, poll workers are focused on getting in their training.

“We have about ten poll workers on average per precinct in the county . They are being trained here and will be ready on Election Day,” said White.

While security is something that may not be new in the elections field, it is still fresh on the mind of Florida voters after two systems were hacked back in 2016. Miami Dade County officials said they have an entire department dedicated to keep outside interference away.

“We’ve spent a significant amount of resources in hardening our cyber security posture and physical security posture. The most important thing that I can tell our voters is that we still vote on a paper ballot here in the state of Florida, so that is something that is unhackable. At the end of the election, if we ever have to go back to that paper record, we have it."

In a statement, White said, “The comprehensive test has been completed and the results are as expected. Our equipment is functioning properly and votes are recorded accurately. Miami-Dade voters can feel confident that we are Election Ready.”

She also stated that voters can be Election Ready by reviewing their customized sample ballot in advance of voting.

The Department will begin deploying voting equipment ahead of Early Voting, which begins this Monday, March 2, and continues through Sunday, March 15. Early Voting will be available at 23 locations and open for eight hours each day. For more information, visit www.iamelectionready.org or call 311.

Broward County is also running a similar test with their machines. Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary is March 17, 2020.

More about Florida’s primary election, including quick facts and resources.

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