Today is election eve in Athens: voters will go to the polls tomorrow to settle an Athens-Clarke County sales tax referendum. There are municipal elections around the region, with Mayor and City Council seats up for grabs in Winterville and Watkinsville.
From the Athens-Clarke County government website…
Prior to every election, the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections conducts logic and accuracy testing on all of its voting equipment. The process is open to the public to observe. Once it begins, it continues until all units have been tested and proven accurate.
The State of Georgia requires Logic and Accuracy Testing through specific procedures prior to every election. As part of the process, staff with the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections run tests on the touch-screen voting units, the check-in system, and the optical scan system for recording absentee ballots.
The first part of the process involves receiving the secure election database from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office for the upcoming election. The GEMS (Global Election Management System) system uses this database to create memory cards for the voting equipment, program the voting equipment, and produce ballots and reports. GEMS is a non-networked computer server with an encrypted drive.
Once GEMS creates the memory cards for the voting system, these procedures test the proper creation of the voter access cards, display of the ballot, vote collection, and tabulation results. During the process, units are calibrated, physically inspected, and recorded.
All races, headers, race titles, candidates, and placement order of candidates are visually checked on the touch-screen units. Testing is also performed using a voter access card on a sample ballot. Ballots are also checked to confirm proper audio and magnification assistance features.
After a machine is tested and proven accurate, it is sealed and stored in a secure building until election day. Access to this building is tightly controlled. The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections follows all state laws contained in the Official Code of Georgia and State Election Board rules concerning the testing and storing of voting equipment. County tests voting machines