Pickaway County fires up ballot-counting machine for trial run

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PICKAWAY COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — Pickaway County Board of Elections is making sure its voting equipment is working properly.

It’s sort of a practice run for election officials, testing their machines which are not connected to any kind of internet for safety purposes, and making sure when Election Day comes, everything is ready to go.

“Every ballot matters, every vote counts, and it’s very important to us to make sure every ballot is secure,” said Matthew Nicklas, director of the Pickaway County Board of Elections.

The DS 450 Tabulator is used to count ballots in Pickaway County.

“We want to make sure that the pre-printed ballots that we’re running through the machine match what comes out on the other end,” said Nicklas.

During this practice run, they are using test ballots Pickaway County election officials pre-marked.

“Some ballots are marked top position; some are marked bottom position,” Nicklas said.

He said this is to ensure safety and transparency during an election with lots of misinformation.

“Being able to show that we test our equipment before the election can help give some confidence to the public,” Nicklas said.

He added if a problem occurs down the line, the machine will notify that something has changed from this test run.

Nearly 36,000 eligible voters in this county will rely on these machines, like Chole Reed and her dad.

“It’s very easy,” Reed said. “I preferred voting in-person rather than in mail, especially for my first time.”

She trusts how her ballot will be counted, but the talk of voter fraud is on her mind.

“I’m a little concerned with previous accusations against others,” Reed said.

Nicklas said they’ve had around 200 people vote early in-person per day. He urges people voting absentee by mail to do it early. He also urges voters to track their ballot of the secretary of state’s website to make sure it reaches their respective board of election.

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