Maricopa County Elections Department adds features to enhance vote process
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Elections Department has added new features to help streamline and secure votes, health and safety during the 2020 election.
Highly anticipated new equipment can now tabulate 6,000-8,000 ballots per hour compared to older machines that process 3,000 in the same time.
On the second day of counting, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office said it surpassed 700,000 ballots that were signature verified.
Inside the Maricopa County Elections Department, health and safety remain a top priority alongside ensuring votes are counted appropriately and timely.
Upon arrival, a new thermal camera meets employees, volunteers and anyone else entering the building. The goal is to limit the exposure of COVID-19.
“We do have a machine that temperature checks,” Erika Flores with the Maricopa County Elections Department said.
“When they’re cleared – they’re given a wrist band that they have to wear that shows a visual cue to everyone that they’ve have had their temperature checked and they’re allowed to be there.”
With rooms split up by duty, mandatory masks were seen throughout the entire department. One room is dedicated to signature verification, another removing the ballot from the envelope and the final being a tabulation room.
Approaching what has been called one of the hottest contested elections to date, the Maricopa County Elections Department has also promoted transparency and security.
Exposed wires are now seen hung below the ceiling, with the intention of showing both voters and poll workers where exactly their vote is stored.
“We’ve had the wire, but what’s new is that we’ve exposed it to make it visible for the public to see that it’s not connected to the internet rather it goes straight to the server,” Flores said.
That server is stored in plain sight for all to see in a clear glass room, full of Maricopa County residents’ votes.
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