MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With just days before in-person early voting for the November General Election gets underway, Miami-Dade and Broward’s election departments are putting their machines to the test.
Early in the morning, voting machines were shipped off to more than 50 early voting locations in Miami-Dade and Broward.
The departments’ accuracy test starts with a predetermined vote involving thousands of ballot.
The ballots are filled out with certain winners, for overvotes – where you vote for more than one candidate, and undervotes – where you vote for no candidates.
The ballots are then run through the machines and votes are tallied.
Once complete these tests must match exactly the winners, overvotes, and undervotes they setup beforehand.
Miami-Dade’s Supervisor of Elections, Christina White, said voters shouldn’t worry about someone hacking the transmission when votes are sent to election headquarters for the final tally. The information is sent to the elections department in encrypted bursts over closed telephone lines.
“There’s no internet connection or connectivity to anything whatsoever. So the ability for somebody to infiltrate that can’t happen,” she said.
The fail-safe system would detect and interrupt any attempt to hack into election returns.
Brian Fonseca, Director of Florida International University’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, worries about the varied voting procedures nationwide.
“There are no standards across the nation in terms of what technology we use, how we safeguard that technology,” he said.
He worries that someone, an unscrupulous poll worker perhaps, could hack individual computers in targeted precincts and alter outcomes.
In any event, if red flags are raised, there is always an unbeatable fallback.
“If anything were to happen we can always go back to the paper ballot which has a record of every single person’s vote,” said White.
Every single machine at the precinct prints out prints out a votes cast tally of every vote cast on it.
Early voting in Miami-Dade and Broward runs from October 22nd through November 4th.