Voting machines to be tested today

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008

NATCHEZ — The public will get a chance to see the electronic voting machines be tested today at 10 a.m. at the courthouse.

Election Commissioner Mitch Ballard said not only is the testing mandated by law, but it is a reassurance to the voters that they can expect a fair election with the equipment.

“It gives the public the opportunity to come out and make sure everything is correct,” Ballard said.

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There will be a test vote, where a certain ballot is run and then checked to make sure it goes through and comes out accurate.

Then the machine is cleared of all data and ready for the election.

“The public can see we cleared it out and there’s no residual data from a previous election,” Ballard said.

Though these tests are done every election, he said there’s never a large turnout.

“We’ve had as many as a dozen and sometimes we’ve had no shows,” he said. “It depends on the election atmosphere. On local races we’ve seen it get more interesting.”

Though it is not required that witnesses of the test are present, it is required that the public is to be made aware of the test.