With the Nov. 8 general election quickly approaching, Lexington County is in the midst of testing all the equipment it will use.
With the Nov. 8 general election quickly approaching, Lexington County is in the midst of testing all the equipment it will use. The Registration & Elections Office is also adding a new process for delivering machines.
Testing began Oct. 5 and continues through Oct. 31. The public will have a chance to witness the testing process Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. at the county elections Office (605 W Main St.).
“Anybody can come in and see how we test the machines,” said Lenice Shoemaker, the county’s director of registration and elections. “They can come into our office, they can see how we test. We show them the results of our testing.”
Shoemaker told the Chronicle her office has to essentially create an election, assembling test data to run to put on a flash drive, hook it up to the machines and make sure that they’re working correctly.
“We have to touch every single piece of equipment,” she said.
All of this testing happens on site at the elections office, in a temperature-controlled room, and includes about 200 scanners and every ballot marking device. The process involves dusting the machines and checking that all buttons, audio, handicapped provisionals and touchpads are functioning properly.
"Testing is a ‘check and balance’ for the public," Shoemaker said. "Our testing ensures that the machines are working properly before they are released to the precincts."
According to Shoemaker, the machines don’t require much upgrading or replacement. The office uses DS200 scanners it purchased in 2019. The ballot marking devices, ExpressVote Universal Voting System machines from ES&S, no longer require a flashdrive to be plugged in. The scanners keep track of how many people vote.
Lexington County is making a change this year to how it gets voting equipment to polling locations. For the first time, the elections office is partnering with an outside party, SDC & Company LLC, to transport the machines. Previously, elections staff would load the machines into two or three vehicles and move the equipment themselves.
“We’ve had several different meetings to make sure that we have some good planning and some good strategies to get the equipment delivered and it’s not done yet,” Shoemaker said. “We’re still hashing things out.”
An updated list of polling locations for the Nov. 8 election will be uploaded to lex-co.sc.gov/departments/registration-and-elections soon, according to the website.
Lexington County has expanded their early voting to five locations for the general election, which will be open Oct. 24-Nov.6., Monday-Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. County residents can vote early at any of the following locations:
• County Voter Registration and Elections Office, 605 West Main St., Room 130, Lexington
• Midlands Technical College (Batesburg-Leesville Campus), 423 College St., Batesburg-Leesville
• Midlands Technical College (Harbison Campus), 7300 College St., Irmo
• Pelion Branch Library, 206 Pine St., Pelion
• West Columbia Community Center, 754 B. Ave., West Columbia
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here
Other items that may interest you