A hand count of ballots in 30 randomly selected precincts across Nebraska shows that the equipment used to count ballots is both secure and accurate secretary of State Bob Evnen. Following each statewide election, a manual audit is done for two to three percent of precincts across the state.
The 30 precincts were selected from the total list of precincts across the state, with no more than two precincts from any one county. 27 counties were involved in the audit and 9563 ballots were hand counted out of a total of 706,652 cast. Three contest were selected to be audited- one federal contest, one state contest and one local contest.
The only differences were found in the counties, where 3 ballots were found not to have been read correctly due to light pencil marks or an eraser mark. “This highlights the importance of following the instructions and clearly darkening the oval on the ballot,” said Secretary Evnen, “If you make a mistake on a ballot you are allowed to ask for a new ballot.”
State law requires three independent test of the scanning equipment before it can be used to count ballots. These tests are done by three different people who each mark a set of test ballots and compare the results of the machine to what was marked on the ballots. Theses tests are used to make sure the equipment is working correctly.
Nebraska continues to use paper ballots, which allows for these post-election audits, and these audits have been done since 2008.
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