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Making your vote count: How Milwaukee tests electronic voting machines

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 19:44:18-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee tested a major item in ensuring a fair and accurate election, the electronic voting machines.

A public test was conducted Monday morning at City Hall. The executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, Clair Woodall-Vogg, tested nearly 40 paper ballots as one person from the public and four members of the media watched.

The executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission Clair Woodall-Vogg tests how the vote counting machine works at the office in City Hall. (August 1, 2022).

“We compared these machines today to the results and made sure it matched how the ballot was actually filled in,” said Woodall-Vogg.

The state requires all municipalities to run a public test of their voting machines within 10 days of an election. Milwaukee has been testing all 180 of its DS200 machines. Those machines are manufactured by Election Systems and Software. The tests are the same process that was used during the 2020 election when audits of the machine were conducted after the election. It confirmed the results of candidate Joe Biden’s victory over then President Trump. The recount in Milwaukee County extended President Biden’s win by an extra 132 votes.

Milwaukee Election Commission executive director Clair Woodall-Vogg puts a ballot into the voting machine to check its accuracy.

"We went through the same auditing process with the city reviewing, then the county reviewed it. Then in Milwaukee County, we also had a recount where all of the bags were opened. Every single voter was accounted for and the machine was cleared out and we ran them again,” said Woodall-Vogg.

Milwaukee also verifies during its count that there is a legitimate voter for every ballot sent through the machine.

Early voting is underway the at Frank P. Zeidler Building at 841 N Broadway, Milwaukee.

"For every ballot, there is an associated voter. Again, we don't know how you voted or which ballot is yours, but as far as integrity goes, making sure the number of ballots cast equals the same number of people who came, checked in, or requested an absentee ballot to make sure there (are) no extra ballots,” said Woodall-Vogg.

Since there is not electronic voting in Milwaukee County, every voter has a physical ballot to reference.

“We have paper ballots for every vote that is cast so the most important thing for voters in Milwaukee County to know is that the paper trial is extremely extensive,” said Woodall-Vogue.

One of Milwaukee's 180 voting machines. It is a DS200 machines manufactured by Election Systems and Software.

The state’s Legislative Audit Bureau reviewed the 2020 voting process in Wisconsin. The independent, nonpartisan state agency says it found all the machines it reviewed counted the votes correctly.

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