RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — With only 25 days left until the Nov. 3 election, Palm Beach County election officials fired up their equipment Friday to test and make sure they are ready.
The test is conducted before each election to ensure the machines are accurately counting and recording votes.
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The sound of the machines counting ballots inside the Palm Beach County elections tabulations center was just what elections official Hector Lopez wanted to hear.
"They perform much better than our previous equipment. Our previous equipment has been around since the 1980s," Lopez said.
Lopez oversees the election equipment and is in charge of making sure all the new voting equipment is working correctly.
Palm Beach County holds final testing of voting and tabulation equipment. pic.twitter.com/2TBIkZmxwo— Matt Sczesny WPTV (@WPTVMatt) October 9, 2020
The "logic and accuracy test," as it is called, is a run-through for the tabulation machines for mail-in ballots and the machines counting votes at the polls.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link was appointed by the governor to take over after equipment problems with the 2018 recount.
The county now has $15 million in new equipment, which was already used in primaries, and now facing a much bigger presidential test.
"We've gone through a lot of scenarios. We have contingency plans and contingency plans for the contingency plans," Sartory Link said.
The new tabulations machines will start counting mail-in ballots next week.
The machines at polling places are designed to scan ballots and warn voters if they made any errors and allow them to correct the errors.
"It gives you the warning. At that point, the voter can request another ballot," said Lopez.
As of Friday afternoon, 158,050 ballots have already been returned, but results are kept secret. No vote totals will be released until the polls close on Election Day.
Early voting begins on Oct. 19.