EXCLUSIVE: Smith County elections office tests equipment ahead of Election Day

October 22, 2022 – TYLER, Texas (KETK)

Before the real deal, there’s a test day.

“We’re all wanting to make sure that the elections are secure and accurate and this is part of that process,” said David Stein, the Chairman for the Smith County Republican Party.

The Smith County election test usually happens two or three weeks before Election Day.

It’s called the “logic and accuracy test,” which makes sure the equipment is functioning correctly.

“We put a stack of ballots through what we call a DS200, the actual ballot box, and then we tally those numbers on what we call the ERM machine, the actual reporting computer,” said Michelle Allcon, Smith County Elections Administrator.

Allcon said from there, they are able to test to make sure the numbers match up on both devices.

There is also a separate machine for absentee ballots, which can scan thousands of ballots.

“It’s similar to the ballot box, the DS200, but it is a faster scanner,” added Allcon.

A member from each Smith County political party was there to bring peace of mind to their groups.

“As chair of the party, I think people are looking to me to be able to say I’ve watched the process, the process works,” said David Stein, Smith County GOP Chair.

“I felt it was important to come and be an eye witness of the testing of the Smith County elections machines and the equipment to ensure to our people the election process will be accurate,” said Greg Grubb, secretary of the Smith County Democratic Party.

The testing is open to the public, but there’s even more ways to get involved.

“Another good option is to come be an election worker,” said Grubb. “You can get a firsthand look at the process from the inside, and we’re always needing more workers.”

It’s all to ensure Smith County is ready to go for another Election Day.

Allcon said the testing went smoothly. She is still seeing people registering to vote last minute. The last day to register is Oct. 11. To check if you’re registered or to register, visit votetexas.gov.

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