Arizona secretary of state: Safeguards in place to protect November election results
Oct 19, 2016, 12:33 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2016, 11:02 am
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
PHOENIX — Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan said Wednesday her office takes a lot of precautions to ensure no one interferes with election results.
“The thought that the whole system is rigged from the get-go is just not accurate,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes.
Despite saying there are only a few known cases of voter fraud in Arizona, Reagan said the state combines people on the ground with safe-guarded technology to ensure election results are accurate.
“The way that you vote is absolutely the way that the machines tabulate the count at the end of the night,” she said.
Reagan said staffers travels around the state in the weeks prior to every election to test each piece of voting equipment. After the machines are tested, they are reset, sealed and placed in front of cameras where they can be seen by the public via live online streams.
She also said the machines that tabulate ballots are not connected to the internet and it is therefore very difficult for hackers to gain access.
“The thought that anyone could go in and hack those machines is so incredibly remote when those machines aren’t even hooked up to the internet,” she said, adding that Arizona also has a law that requires each vote creates a paper trail, even when people vote using a touchscreen device.
Reagan said the state has safeguards in place against people tampering with results as well, such as a law that requires voters to show identification to poll workers before they can cast a ballot.
“It would be very tough to be able to go into a polling place as someone else and cast a ballot,” she said.
Workers also verify mail-in ballots by double-checking both the signature and the person’s name to ensure they did not vote anywhere else.
But with thousands of workers on so many sites, human error is always a risk. Reagan said her office is prepared for mistakes, along with dishonesty.
“We have troubleshooters, we have people on the ground who investigate these things,” she said. “We encourage poll watchers from both sides of the political spectrum to go and to watch. All you need to do is get permission from your county chair.”
She urged voters to report anything out of the ordinary to her office.
“Being vigilant is something that we always encourage because the goal is to have a system that is as free from fraud as possible,” she said.