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City of Charlottesville conducts logic and accuracy testing before early voting

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - November 2 is now fast approaching and the governor’s race, and others, are heating up. Early voting is even sooner, starting Friday, September 17.

Accuracy is always paramount, but even more so since the last presidential election. That’s why the City’s electoral board is taking the machines for a test drive.

“Democracy sounds simple, you know, people count the votes, whoever gets most wins, but actually the process to ensure that that happens the way it’s supposed to is rather complex,” said James Nix, the secretary of the Charlottesville Electoral Board.

The complexity of the process is why the Electoral Board tests their machines beforehand. They make this practice round open to the public to remain transparent about what exactly happens to your vote.

“People need to have the confidence that when they mark a ballot, it will be counted the way they marked it.” Nix said.

The Electoral Board says they have that confidence in the machines and they say you should too. All of the tests Monday ran smoothly.

“This is the same equipment we’ve been using since 2015,” Nix said. “So we have quite a bit of experience with these machines now, and we’ve had really good luck, they proved to be quite reliable.”

But there are two important changes this year. One is that if you are voting absentee, you will need a witness signature on your mail-in ballot. For the last three elections, this was not the case because it was waived due to the pandemic.

“The other thing that’s different this time for early voting is we’re now open on Thursday evenings,” Nix said. “This year, we’ve added a longer period on Thursday, so on Thursdays we will be open from 8:30 in the morning until 7 p.m. So, gives people a chance to vote after working.”

The Electoral Board says it’s also important to remember if you make a mistake on your ballot, you are welcome to grab a new one so your vote is counted correctly.

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