Over the years we have been told that every vote counts. In close elections this would appear to be the case. Yet, in recent national contests, various interests – both foreign and perhaps even domestic – have illegally accessed (hacked) voter rolls, secretary of state's offices, local county clerk's offices, manufacturers of voting machines and those who program such machines. No wonder that the seeds of doubt have been planted – “Did my vote actually count as I cast it?”
To make sure that votes were accurately counted, recorded and reported, our Warren County Board of Elections (county clerk, sheriff and representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties) initiated an audit of a sampling of the voting machines. Three precincts were randomly selected to represent small, medium and larger numbers of cast ballots. The team opened the three machines Jan. 28 that have been under lock and seal since the November election. The ballot sheets were removed and sorted into stacks representing a vote for the Democratic, Republican or independent gubernatorial candidate.
The paper ballots in the three stacks were counted and recounted by the members of the team and the totals compared to the vote totals taken from the respective machine printouts. These were the totals reported and certified by the board and transmitted to the commonwealth's secretary of state after the election. In all three, the vote totals reported were exact matches to the counted paper ballots taken from the machines. Here in Warren County, your vote was counted as cast. Perhaps the Warren County effort to maximize the integrity of the vote should be considered statewide. Your vote matters!
Jack A. Thomas
– Thomas is a member of the Warren County Board of Elections.