DES MOINES, Iowa — The Midterm elections on November 8 are sneaking up and election officials are showcasing the work that has been put in to uphold election integrity.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate was at the Polk County Election office on Wednesday, where workers started the process of testing all vote tabulators. More specifically the testing is called a “logic accuracy test”. Every single county in the state is conducting these tests ahead of the midterm election.
The Secretary of State said that these tabulator tests are open to the public and are designed to be as transparent as possible.
“Worst thing that can happen to us, the worst thing, is that people don’t have confidence or don’t believe in election results, because if that happens our democracy has fallen,” said Pate. “I don’t want to sound like a crying wolf here, but folks, that gives the Russians or the Chinese or anyone you want to talk about being bad actors, the big win without firing a single bullet.”
Pate reiterated that his office is pushing out information every day to combat the misinformation about election results that are out there.
Polk County has over 200 tabulating machines that are tested several times before election day. The County’s Election Director said that it is a very thought out process.
“This isn’t just a one day process, this goes on for many weeks and months preparing for this,” said John Chiodo, the Polk County Election Director. “It’s not like we wake up on Election day and throw everything against the wall and hope it sticks. We test and test and test and test.”
The testing process is designed to be redundant to make sure that all the machines are calibrated correctly. There are specific testing ballots that are filled out in various ways to see if the machines recognize the error and give the correct prompt. This is done over and over again waiting to see if a machine gives an incorrect prompt, or miscounts a vote.
Election day information on where to register, where to vote and who is on your ballot can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.