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Palm Beach County voters get behind-the-scenes look at how ballots are processed, tabulated

Guided tours lasted about 45 minutes
The Elections Experience Tour at Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections June 22, 2021
Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 18:32:28-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Voters in Palm Beach County got a first-hand look at how the election process works.

The county's Supervisor of Elections office hosted The Elections Experience Tour at the voting equipment service center in Riviera Beach.

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The tour showed voters the machines that count ballots, the room where provisional and contested ballots are examined and the process of handling the ballots.

"It’s good to see the democratic process at work and realize how many people it takes to have a clean election," said Paul Pontrelli, who took part in the tour.

Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said these tours are the best way for people to understand the time and effort put into each election.

Wendy Sartory Link speaks about The Elections Experience Tour on June 22, 2021
Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link explains why officials are holding a tour of the operations at its election headquarters.

"When we did this two years ago, we learned a lot of people, historically, when I came on said on Election Day, 'This was going this way, and there was chaos.' And I thought we can explain to people what's happening so they understand this process," Sartory Link said.

In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, doubts were raised about election integrity and trust, but not in Florida where elections officials say it all went smoothly.

"The checks and balances, everything is set up the way it's supposed to go," said Robert Kirkpatrick, who took part in the tour.

Changes to Florida's elections law will scale back how mail-in ballots are collected in future elections, something the supervisor says she now needs to prepare for.

"We were trying to help with the lines, so we'll have that again, and we can't have 24/7 drop boxes, so we'll be adjusting to that as well," Sartory Link said.

Guided tours for Tuesday's event lasted about 45 minutes.

The next election in Palm Beach County will help narrow down who will fill the seat of the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings who died in April.

A special primary in the state's 20th Congressional District will take place in November with a general election in January.