Elkhart County preps to ensure election security ahead of May primary

NOW: Elkhart County preps to ensure election security ahead of May primary

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. - From here in Michiana to across the country, election security has been top of mind over the past few years.

Identification, barcodes and tamper proof seals are just some of the many security protocols in place.

On March 29th, over a month before the primary elections, Elkhart County conducted a test required by state law.

"Well, part of state law is that we conduct public tests," said Christopher Anderson, Elkhart County Clerk. "And we conducted that with all of the races that are on all of the ballots and all of the municipalities this year."

The results of that test? 100% accuracy.

With the growing threat of cybersecurity, Anderson does not think it's an issue for Elkhart County.

"It's not really a threat, none of our machines, none of the voting equipment is connected to the internet," he said. "We do use a self-service to get our e-poll books updated. As someone checks in at a new poll book, it is updated to the rest of the e-poll books that are in use in the county. But that is secured and encrypted."

There’s no better way to learn the process and see for yourself how safe voting is.

First stop inside the polling location: check in with the staff and give them your ID.

After confirming the address, you would sign the e-book and get a printed barcode on your ballot just for you.

"That indicates to the ballot marking device what ballot to pull up," said Anderson.

You then get an envelope to sign and date.

The next step is to walk over to the voting machine and insert your ballot.

The races you are authorized to vote in come up on the screen.

You then make your selections and review it on screen before hitting the print card button.

"It then prints out another series of barcodes here that indicates how the ballot was marked," said Anderson.  

It also prints a readable version of how the vote was tabulated so the voter can make sure their votes are counted accurately.

The last step is to apply the security sticker and place it in the ballot box which has a serial tamper-proof seal.

And if you realize there is a mistake, you can get another chance to cast your vote.

"There is a way the voter can bring the ballot back to the staff and they can spoil it," said Anderson. "And they can re-issue a ballot."

Anderson believes Elkhart County has all the security measures in place and that the votes will be counted accurately.

He also has a message for voters.

"If you are a registered voter in any one of the seven municipalities in Elkhart County, please get out and exercise your right to vote," he said.  

Anderson says all of the staff members working the polling locations have gone through extensive training and that transparency and accuracy is a priority.

He also wants to reassure voters the elections in Elkhart County are secured.

Share this article: