Voting machines unaffected

Published 8:30 am Thursday, February 9, 2023

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Electoral Board member Oliver Wright says there was “very little real damage done” when pipes burst at the county’s Voter Registrar’s office during extremely cold temperatures at the end of the year.

County Administrator Tracy Gee announced that the registrar’s office received water damage during last month’s Board of Supervisors meeting, prompting several members to ask about the status of voting machines.

According to Wright, an inch or so of water flowed into the central part of the office, but the voting machines were not damaged.

“The voting machines were in the storage closet on shelves (no water entered this space).” Wright said, “The electronic poll books were in waterproof cases and not touched by water either. Likewise, the computers were not involved with water.”

Wright further said that the office was fully operational and manned within a couple of days following the water damage.

Since the water damage occurred over the long holiday weekend, the amount of water was not discovered for several days.

“The County Administrator made arrangements to have somebody remove the standing water, extract water from the carpet and dehumidify the office, which took a couple of days,” Wright said. “The only things that were damaged were some paper forms that were in cardboard boxes on the floor, and only the bottommost forms needed to be thrown out.”

As with any election, Wright said that the logic and accuracy testing of voting machines and poll books would be conducted in conjunction with the next election.