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‘Unscripted Test’: Tarrant Elections Office Allows Public to Test Voting Machines

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At the Tarrant County elections office, workers this week are acting like voters, running test ballots through 4,400 voting machines to make sure they’re working correctly.

“This is a public test,” elections administrator Heider Garcia said. “It’s an event that the elections code requires and it consists of making sure we cast ballots for every candidate in every race in every precinct in every machine.”

Garcia said they’re being extra transparent with the entire process so when the machines are used in the next election on Nov. 8, there will be no doubt about election integrity.

The public is even invited to watch. The testing hasn’t turned up any problems, Garcia said.

“We’re all good,” he said.

Garcia is also taking an extra step that’s never been done before.

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“I call it the unscripted test,” he said.

People can vote in a test election Friday morning.

“We don’t have to do it,” Garcia said. “But we feel it can add to fostering confidence in the system.”

Anybody who shows up at the elections office between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. can grab a ballot and vote.

They’ll then print the results and compare them to a hand count to show the votes are all tallied correctly.

And to people who still just don’t have faith?

“Just look at the system we have,” Garcia said. “We moved to a paper-based system precisely so there is no obscurity in the complexity of technology. It’s very simple.”

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