Ada County begins ballot-scanning process

Ada County begins ballot-scanning process
Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 10:11:49-04

ADA COUNTY  — Election Day is approaching, and Ada County has started the ballot-scanning process. During the special legislative session, a decision was made, allowing for ballots to be opened and scanned a week before Election Day.

Ada County tested just short of 1,000 test ballots during a logic and accuracy test.

"We've broken up this test deck to cover all three voting types; absentee, early, and Election Day. So, it's a really good representation of what the voters will be voting on and have been," Elections Chief Deputy James Witkowski said.

Before ballots are scanned, a zero report is printed confirming no prior votes or data have already been recorded.

"It will show you zero votes. All of the machines will have their counters reset, so scanners when we start them, will be zeroed out, and from here we will start running the ballots through and start building up our results," Witkowski said.

Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane says it will take staff over a week to process all of the ballots due to the massive turnout of absentees.

"We'll start the scanning process where we are taking the actual votes for this election and scanning them in. So, we'll be scanning from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day just to make sure we have enough time to get all of these ballots scanned so that we can have timely results on Election Day," McGrane said.

Ada County Election's Office also added extra security measures, like live-streamed cameras through the building. McGrane says he wants everyone, including candidates and the public, to have confidence in the process when casting their vote.

"I'm happy to report everything went smoothly as part of our tests. So, we're in a good place, and we're ready to begin the process. I think we've got a great plan in place to make sure everything goes smoothly all the way through Election Day and into the evening," McGrame says.

Ballots will be scanned, but the system will not read results until polls close on Election Day.

To avoid potential lines on Election Day, know that Friday is the last day to early vote before the election.