How Pima County processes mail ballots


In Pima County,
election officials want
to reassure voters their systems are secure. To get the word out, they
offered an inside look at how they process
mail ballots. – Pima County and
southern Arizona elections are going as smoothly
and possible. – [Newscaster] According
to Pima County Recorder FN Rodriguez, 80%
of voters received their ballots in a mail. Counting the ones they get
back involves a series of steps that begins when they
arrive at the post office. – There’s always two people,
different party affiliations present and handling
them at all times. – [Newscaster]
Workers pick them up in a secure area
and bring them back to the Pima County’s
election department. – They’ll take a
stack of envelopes, place it against the thing. – [Newscaster] The
first step is simple, to make sure each
yellow envelope actually contains
a signed ballot which isn’t always the case. – We find prescription
pills, we find other bills that people have put
in while there’s– – Got a recipe for rice
krispies treats one year. – [Newscaster] If
someone notices any
serious discrepancies, a so-called Trouble Team
will contact the voter to clear up the confusion. That happens if two
people raise questions about whether a signature
matches what’s on file. – Probably most of the
ballots that we work on, they’re able to confirm the
signature on the affidavit based on the first
one that pops up here. – [Newscaster] Finally,
the machines use to count and tally the results
undergo testing by the state beforehand. The political parties can also
do their own tests on-site. As added security,
all the equipment runs on a stand-alone system. Every device you
can follow that line all the way back to the
server and also tell that the server is not
connected to anything or any device as well. – [Newscaster] Well, all this
happens behind the scenes, voters can track their
ballot status online at recorder.pima.gov. There, they can also check
their registration info and verify key deadlines. Rodriguez says she
hopes residents trust that their vote
will count in 2020. – So much misinformation
is put out there on Twitter and Facebook that it
puts doubt on the public. And we don’t want
doubt with the public. We want the public to be voting. This is democracy and
this is how it works.

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