Kansas City conducts public test of voting equipment

Monday’s dress rehearsal gave voters a transparent look at the process, with the goal of combatting mistrust at the ballot box.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 4:29 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas City, Missouri election office conducts a public test of voting equipment about a week before every election.

They say this year’s is more important than ever.

“This is the first time we’ve had this many people show up,” KCMO’S democratic director of elections, Lauri Ealom, said. “I’m assuming it’s because this is the hottest topic going.”

A recent poll by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland shows 30 percent of Americans believe there was “widespread voter fraud” in the 2020 election.

Monday’s dress rehearsal gives voters a transparent look at the process, with the goal of combatting mistrust at the ballot box.

“When you educate the voters, that will increase their knowledge, and then they won’t believe things such as election fraud,” Ealom said.

“We just want to give the public every bit of confidence we can give them,” Shawn Kieffer, republican director of elections for KCMO, said.

For the 45-minute test run, each machine is fed roughly 300 test ballots.

“Once they’re ran through, we check totals to make sure they come out to what we expect them to be,” Kieffer said.

It’s a fraction of what the election office will do on August 2.

“First thing we do is we do a zero report to make sure there’s nothing in the machines,” Kieffer said. “We run our test deck through. We verify that they’re accurate. We run another zero report to clean out the machines. The machines are then transported to the polling place.”

Judges then run another zero report first thing on Election Day to make sure the machines are empty, Kieffer explained.

“They also check the back of the ballot box, make sure there’s no ballots back there. Then they’re ready for voting,” he said. “Once the equipment comes back from the polling place, we retest the equipment and we actually do manual recounts on 5 percent of the precincts.”