MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the mail-in ballots already sent out, South Florida election workers are now gearing up for the March 17 primary.
In Broward County Thursday, the public was invited to view a mock logic and accuracy test of the voting equipment in Lauderhill.
“The purpose of this test is to do a dry run,” explained Supervisor of Elections Pete Antonacci to a dozen members of the public who came to watch.
Miami-Dade will do a similar test of their equipment for the public next week.
“I’m concerned about everything large and small,” said Antonacci, who has been in the job a year.
He patiently answered questions from the public who came to see the equipment in action.
One man wanted to know when the first ballots would be put in the tabulation machines.
“The 27th of February,” he responded.
Another woman told CBS4 she was disappointed not to see a ‘stress test’ on how well the tabulation machines could handle a large volume of ballots.
Others wanted to know what happens when signatures don’t match ballots.
“If there is a question of signature, we will bring it to the canvassing board,” explained Deputy Elections Supervisor Mary Hall.
“It has been an eye-opening experience with all the checks and balances in place,” said jimmy Rivera.
Rivera just moved to Fort Lauderdale from Atlanta and was invited by his neighbor to view the process.
Antonacci said much has been done to avoid past elections problems that have surfaced in Broward.
He said machines have been upgraded and transmission of results will be faster.
Also the ballot design was sent out for review.
In 2018, the Broward ballot was criticized for the placement of names in the Florida Senate race between incumbent Bill Nelson and republican challenger Rick Scott.
Scott won that close contest but the recount process was contentious with loud demonstrations outside the equipment center.
At this point in 2020, Broward’s 1.2 million registered voters break down to 595,754 Democrats, 250,796 Republicans, 335,807 no-party affiliation and 10,988 other affiliations.
In Miami-Dade, where there are 1.45 million registered voters, there are 603,947 Democrats, 381,764 Republicans, a whopping 459,238 no-party affiliation and 11,545 other party affiliation.
Early voting for the presidential preference primary in Broward will take place March 7 to March 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 22 locations.
Miami-Dade early voting goes from March 2 to March 15.