On Tuesday May 9, members of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee met at the city warehouse on Leroy Rd. to observe voting machine testing. Lauralee Grimm (VBDC Steering Committee, Electoral Board Vice Chair) and Mark Vang (VBDC Technology Chair) were present. Al Ablowich, Chairman of the Electoral Board, walked us through the process.
Each machine is run through a series of standard tests to insure they are operating properly and counting ballots correctly. After the tests, the machines are sealed, locked and then secured in transport cages which are also locked.
The two machines being tested were the DS200 digital scan tabulator and the Express Vote ballot marking system Election Systems & Software (ES&S). The DS200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulator is used for ballot counting. The ExpressVote Ballot Marking System uses a touch-screen, detachable braille keypad and headset to provide disabled voter access per ADA guidelines.
Most of the people involved in voter machine testing have worked for the City of Virginia Beach for many years in teaching or administrative positions in the public school system. Their efforts to insure fair elections seems a natural extension of their commitment to protect our democratic principles and systems.