Election officials open voting machines to verify Tuesday results

Calcasieu election officials verify Tuesday vote by checking numbers on voting machines

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu election officials were at the voting machine warehouse on the morning of Nov. 9 to verify the results of Tuesday’s vote.

Fifteen years ago, mechanical voting machines were replaced with the computerized machines now used throughout Calcasieu Parish.

They've almost completely eliminated human error. Still, election officials come to the warehouse to check the numbers on each machine.

“(It’s) a completely different system and it’s much more fool proof. Our machines have a three-way back up and so, if something happens, we’re able to go onto the hard drive or into the cartridge or to the paper. It’s a much better system,” said Clerk of Court Lynn Jones.

During the election, 311 machines were used in Calcasieu and each one is checked. Gone are the days when candidates came, especially in a close vote, to make sure their election night numbers matched machine totals. Jones says we’re way ahead.

“There is nothing that is 100% foolproof but we are as close as any state in the country. Right now, you can see, across the country, there’s places that haven’t even finished counting their votes. There’s a lot of controversy and it’s because of their election system,” said Jones.

“There are many states that have different machines for different counties. They have different processes, and so, they’re all over the place,” he said.

Jones says the state will have replace the voting machines, eventually, because he says it’s becoming hard to to get parts for them.

“They’re over a decade old and, now a days, in the technology world, that’s pretty old. Now, I would love to be able to keep these machines as long as we can because I think they’re the best in the country, but, unfortunately, we’re going to have to make some changes somewhere down the road and I hope we make the right ones,” said Jones.

The election results will be officially certified next week by the La. Secretary of State.

At last word, no mistakes had been found and Jones says 4:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9 was the deadline for a recount. Races where no candidate received more than half the vote will be decided in a runoff election Dec. 8. There is still time to register to vote.

Also, Jones is pleased to report Calcasieu voter turnout was 47%, which he says is unheard of for a midterm election here.

He says turnout for the last governor’s election was just 40 percent.

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