Oklahoma County Election Board comes up with way to monitor ballot processing


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma County Election Board has a new way for people to see ballots being processed.

Any member of the public can go in to watch the process on monitors. The setup is also designed for board members to keep an eye on what’s going on while staying socially distanced.

“It’s just impossible to have people in three or four different locations in our building so we had to come up with something like this,” Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said.

He says people haven’t really taken interest in the process until this election.

“They’re interested and they want to know, ‘what can we be involved in, what can we view,’ and stuff like that,” Sanderson said. “We just kind of picked up the hint then and that there were going to be people interested.”

On the first monitor, you can see workers verifying ballots. One the next, the ballots are taken out of the envelopes. On another monitor, the room where ballots are counted is shown. The votes are collected onto what is essentially a computer chip. No one can see those results until Election Day.

Sanderson says the machine is not hooked up to the internet.

“Even though we have processed ballots through the machine, there’s absolutely no way anyone can determine what data is on that computer chip,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Office takes the ballots and chip to a vault where they are kept until Election Night.

Then, the information is sent to the State Election Board to reveal the results.

About 40,000 ballots have already been counted. The Board is expecting to double the amount they received in the 2016 election.

“It takes hours and hours and hours to do,” Sanderson said.

The Election Board says the safest way to vote is by mail if you don’t want to wait in line. People can still request their absentee ballot until Oct. 27. 

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