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Election Judges Test Austin's Voting Machines Ahead of Primary

August 08, 2018 10:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The dozen election judges tasked with making sure Austin's elections go off without a hitch met in the city council chambers Wednesday night to check the accuracy of the city's voting machines ahead of Tuesday's primary election.

The test, which is open to the public, involves judges running sample ballots through the machines and then verifying the total number of votes. Even before the election judges test the machines, they've gone through multiple checks.

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"We as staff individually test them twice prior and then we have the head judges come in and also do it," city clerk Ann Kasel said.

One of the city's election judges is Jerry McCarthy, who said it's a responsibility he doesn't take lightly.

"Democracy needs people to work in this area to make sure you have the ability to cast that ballot and there's no issue with the ballot or Russian interference," he said.

McCarthy said this is his second time serving as an election judge and civic duty brought him back. He added frequent changes in election laws made Wednesday night's test that much more important.

"(It was a) much-needed refresher, because when you're doing things every two years, just the refresher is nice," he said.

Even after the ballots are cast and counted, the work doesn't stop, Kasel said. She's been training the election judges for months ahead of the primary.

"We work hard all year long just to make sure everything is good for the voter, that it's a smooth process," she said. "That's our most important goal is that everyone can vote and do it smoothly and how they want to do it."

Minnesota allows voters to cast their ballots early both in-person and absentee. More information on how to do so can be found here

To find your polling place, click here

To see a sample ballot for your location, click here

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