Marion County holds public test of voting equipment

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Apr. 17, 2014) — With the May primary elections on the horizon, the Marion County Election Board held a public test of its voting equipment Thursday.

Starting at 9 a.m., the public was given the chance to look on as staff tested the functionality of the two types of machines being used to guarantee a free and fair election: an optical-scan voting machine and one with a touchscreen.  The test occurred at the Election Services Center at 3737 E. Washington St. in Indianapolis.

Marion County Clerk Beth White joined FOX59 Morning News to speak about the importance of the public test.

“Of course, everything that we do in elections needs to be transparent and in the public eye.  Elections are a civic activity.  The people of our community come together to elect their leaders,” White said.  “It’s a very, very important piece of our democracy and it’s certainly something that we are doing with tax money, so every single taxpayer, every single person in Marion County, ought to be assured that we are using the money wisely and that the equipment is working properly.”

The Election Board said Thursday afternoon that the voting machines and tabulation computers tested successfully.

According to White, Marion County will spend approximately $1 million on the May 6 primary election.  For the most recent non-presidential, federal primary, which occurred in 2010, voter turnout was approximately 15 percent.

In a change this year, the state legislature recently passed a law that forces the county election board to centrally count absentee ballots, rather than at the individual polling places.  White said that the change will, unfortunately, add approximately $600,000 to the cost of Marion County elections this year.