Elections preparations: testing; hauling; securing - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Elections preparations: testing; hauling; securing


Madison (WKOW) -- Government officials have a lot to do to make sure everything's ready for you to cast your ballot.

   And for the people responsible for next week's election, the days before November 4  involve alot of heavy lifting.   Literally.

   It's part logistical;  part, manual labor.

   At Madison's Black Hawk middle school, men with a moving truck hauled voting tabulating machines, voting signs, and ballots into the designated space for a polling place.   The moving crew repeated their work at several other of Madison's more than eighty polling places.

   Officials say the equipment and materials will be locked up until election day.

   "The chief inspector at the polling place will have a key to open up that (vote) tabulator, plug it in, tally the results,"   City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl told 27 News.   "First, they'll print a 'zero-type' to verify no votes have been cast through the tabulator."

   For the city of Madison, voting machines and other necessary items come to the polling places from what Witzel-Behl refers to as, "Fort Knox."

   It's a secure, basement store room on Park Street.

   Officials say before the equipment leaves the store room for voting precincts, several tests are performed on it.

   "We have a total of 21 different combination of ways somebody could mark the ballot,"  Witzel-Behl told 27 News.   "We've tested each one to make sure that all of the votes are tabulated correctly."

   Witzel-Behl also said there is a secure chain of custody of the memory packs for the vote tabulating machines as they pass from Dane County clerk officials to her and other clerks in the county's cities, villages and towns.

   Witzel-Behl said her staff has increased more than two-fold with limited term employees to help the city get through next Tuesday's election successfully.

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