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Keeping track of your vote

Pima officials show how they verify ballots
Posted at 8:09 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 22:09:38-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Suspicions are running so high in the world of politics these days that Pima County Elections officials did a demo Tuesday to show how they work to make sure every vote is counted accurately.

In the age of the internet and especially social media, there’s a lot of potential for suspicions to arise on whether every vote goes where it’s supposed to.

Pima County’s voter safeguard include a web address where you can check the status of your ballot. That same page includes clicks to a wide variety of voter information.

On election night the counting machines are behind locked doors for security.

But Pima election officials offered a chance to see them close up in a demo to highlight ballot security.

To head off any hacking, the machines have no connections to the internet or any place outside of the room.

Pima Elections Director Brad Nelson says, “We even bring in wireless sniffers on Election Day to make certain there is no communication going into or out of that particular device as well.”

Earlier, County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez was looking ahead to the Democratic Presidential Preference election this March. She says with early ballots sometimes a voter will mail in a vote for a candidate who drops out before the Election Day. She says if you’ve mailed the ballot you are stuck with that vote.

If you have NOT mailed in you do have some options.

Rodriguez says, “They can come into our early voting site and vote a replacement ballot there or they could show up on Election Day and they can vote a provisional ballot.”

Most ballots are mail- ins now. They move from a secure spot in Tucson’s main post office to your home.

Then you mail them back to a secure zone of the Post Office.

Registrar of Voters Chris Roads says, “Basically what happens is we send a crew of at least two to the Post Office. We have an appointment on exactly when we’re going to pick up. They have them waiting there for us. We take delivery of them. They come back here. We immediately search through them to make sure they look like they’re in good shape. There’s been no evidence of tampering.”

As ballots are unsealed in the elections office Republicans and Democrats work together to verify signatures and send them to the counting machines.