Cole County Clerk\'s office to test voting machines

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Clerk's office plans to test its voting machines on Wednesday morning in preparation for the April 4 municipal elections.

"It’s the integrity of the election, I guess, to make sure that every vote, every ballot that goes through the machine is counted and is counted properly,” Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer said.

A Republican and a Democrat will monitor the voting machines during the testing to make sure they work.

"We run a series of ballots through it and then we run a count on it to make sure that it counts properly,” Korsmeyer said.

The county will test the machines for each of the 28 precincts, along with the machine that reads absentee ballots.

If observers see a machine is not working, they will reprogram the machines.

"We have to order another chip or reprogram it. We try to reprogram it on the spot," Korsmeyer said. "We have spare machines, so we’ll take a spare machine off the shelf and we’ll program it and then we’ll let them test it and then we’ll send the other one back to repair.”

Korsmeyer said there will be backup machines on hand on election day in case a machine stops working.

"Our machines are pretty new so we don’t have too much trouble with them. We did have one go down a couple elections ago and we just put in a replacement machine and tested it and didn’t have any further problems with it," he said.

Korsmeyer said the machines Cole County uses work better than the old machines because they have additional safety features. 

"The memory sticks that we use hold the election data, so we could go out and replace the machine and when we put the memory stick back in the new machine, the replacement machine, it would pick up right where the election, where it failed," Korsmeyer said. "It would still have all the ballot counts and everything in the machine and you could just resume the election from the point of where we swapped the machines out.”

Korsmeyer said he expects the testing to go smoothly because the county has not had too many problems with the machines in the past and the people who help out with the testing are usually regular volunteers.