LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An audit done by the state found Pulaski County voting machines tested 100% accurately in the last general election.
The State Board of Election Commissioners conducted the audit which hand-counted more than 13,000 ballots which is around 10% of the total votes cast of the nearly 125,000 ballots in the county.
Pulaski County Election Coordinator Amanda Dickens said the results of the audit came as no surprise.
“I know these machines. We test them before every election to make sure they are accurate.” Dickens said. “Before every election we are mandated by law to test every single machine before it goes out in the field.”
Conrad Reynolds, who is the CEO of the Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative, a local group that pushes counties for hand-marked and hand-counted ballots instead of election computers, said the audit doesn’t change his views.
“All the other use of the ballot marking devices, the ones where you put it in and you touch screen, that’s actually the machine marking the ballot not the person,” Reynolds said. “In order to have a good audit you have to start out with a paper trail that is reliable, honest and captures voter intent and the system we have in Arkansas does not do that.”
Dickens said there are around 300 express voting machines and 150 ballot tabulators in the county and the audit proved it is trustworthy.
“If you can compare the results of the voting machine to your actual hand count then you know the machine was accurate,” Dickens said.
She said the commission hand count matched the voting machine’s count and there were zero inaccuracies in the general election results.
For voters who are concerned or want to see for themselves if the machines are accurate, Dickens said they do show how their process works before an election.
“We just try our best to explain what we do,” Dickens said. “We show them we have public testing before an election which we do now in board meetings, so the public is free to watch on YouTube.”
The Pulaski County Board of Election Commissioners said they are also considering doing post-election testing and pre-certification audits for future elections which is another way for voters to see the accuracy of the machines.