The county on Monday began testing its eSlate voting equipment to prepare for the Nov. 5 election, according to Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.
The testing will take about three days, and members of the public are welcome to visit the offices at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo to observe.
“(Testing) is absolutely fundamental in the preparation of an election,” explained Church in a press release on the county election website. “The testing provides an added level of confidence in the election results by ensuring that all potential voter choices are tested for accuracy,” he added.
The elections staff uses “test” versions of the English, Spanish and Chinese ballots that include all contests in the Nov. 5, 2013 election. This phase is passed only when there is a perfect match between the test votes cast and the predetermined test results.
The second phase of focuses on paper ballot voting. The English, Spanish and Chinese paper ballots used for testing are clearly identified as “test” ballots. The votes marked on the paper ballots are recorded by running the ballots through a digital scanner-tabulator. This scanner works in connection with the vote counting system called Ballot Now.
Ballot Now accepts voting marks within the predetermined space on the ballot and records them. Only when there is a perfect match between the test votes cast and the predetermined test results is this phase completed.
Additionally, every voting machine will undergo functional testing. Functional testing ensures the proper operation of every dial, button, connector and other hardware components of the voting machines. This testing process confirms that the voting machines are loaded with the correct system software and firmware, as certified by the Secretary of State.
After the testing is finished, 1,428 eSlate voting machines will be deployed to 211 polling places and two Voting Centers. (For more information about eSlate, which the county began using in 2006, click here.)
For more information about the upcoming election, visit www.shapethefuture.org or call 650.312.5222.
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