EDINBURG – In order to be ready for election day in November Hidalgo County tested the logic and accuracy on the new Hart Verity voting machines.
“The logic and accuracy tests every single machine that is going out to our poll locations,” Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon said.
Although law states only a percentage needs to be tested with logic and accuracy Ramon said every machine that is sent to a poll location has been tested.
In test mode the election department can actually see the results as if an actual election happened. They are testing to make sure everything that was processed and coded is correct and ready for actual use.
Hidalgo County officials also put the new machines to work with local school districts by running school's student council elections.
There are two brand new things that will happen come election day. The voter will receive an access code to identify their ballot. Gone are the days where a clerk would have to set up the voting machine with the proper ballot.
“There is where human errors could have occurred,” Ramon said. “For example if precinct 63 was on your label (the clerk) could have keyed in 36 and it does happen because we're human.”
The access code will be keyed in by the voter which in turn will give them independence in voting.
The elections department welcomes everyone to see the new machines, not just the media or candidates running for office.
Senior Field Specialist April Vargas said some candidates already were given a tour of the new machines and a question brought up was whether or not the new machines were going to be lighter to make curbside voting easier.
“It is much lighter,” she said. “It's probably about 60 percent lighter.”
Other questions include how many machines were going to be available at the Hidalgo County Annex Building and on the accuracy of the machines.
The new machines have a permanent count and Vargas is tasked to compare manual and digital counts.
The county purchased more than 840 new machines but for the November election only half will be out in the polling sites.
The November election will consist of constitutional amendments and six municipality elections.
Oct. 10 is the last day a person can register to vote or the last day a person can make changes to their voter identification.