Maricopa County voting machines pass tests, will be delivered to polling sites next week

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 22:27:26-04

Maricopa County's voting machines are all set and ready to go for Election Day. During tests Friday, all machines met the state requirement of 100% accuracy.

The state and county conducted "logic and accuracy testing" on Friday by feeding more than 10,000 test ballots into the machines. County Recorder Helen Purcell said everything looked good.

Purcell explained that while the state has touch screen machines, they kept a paper trail of every vote.

"As each ballot goes through you'll see a counter on the front of the machine that will tell you how many people have voted. It will not tell you how they voted until they take that memory pack out. There is a tape on the side of the touch screen that records every vote that goes in so the voter can make sure what they punched on that touch screen matches the tape."

State and county election officials conducted their tests behind glass walls, with selected observers from both the Democratic and Republican parties watching.

With allegations of vote rigging, vote switching and voter fraud going on throughout the country, particularly by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Purcell said she felt confident that would not happen in Maricopa County. However, she does worry about the age of the machines.

"We bought the original machines in 1996 and last updated them in 2006, so these are about ten years out. I anticipate in the next 4-5 years we're going to have to replace these just because they're getting to the end of their life and because technology changes so much," said Purcell.

Purcell said two technicians would be working with the machines until the end of Election Day. They would also have back up replacement machines ready to go, in case any of the polling places needed one.

She also added that hacking was not a concern, as none of the machines are hooked up to any computers or outlets. They all operate using individual memory packs.

The room where the machines are stored has several cameras with live feeds monitoring them. Purcell said anyone could log onto their website at any time and watch those feeds.

The county had a total of 733 voting machines. Many of them were stored in a locked warehouse and will be delivered to polling places on Monday.

"It is all locked up and sealed. When the polling place workers get there on the night before to set up they have to verify they are the same seal numbers that were sent out to the facility," said Purcell.

You can watch the live web feed by going to the Maricopa County Recorder's website.