At Wednesday’s state-required Logic and Accuracy Testing of election equipment in Cochise County, officials from the Secretary of State’s Office and the County Director of Elections agreed the equipment audio program had an unclear name pronunciation on the accessible voting devices. Therefore, a re-test will be conducted on Sunday, July 3 at 1:00 p.m.
Per state law, election equipment used for early voting must successfully pass a Logic and Accuracy test conducted by the Secretary of State’s Office prior to the start of early voting. The testing procedure ensures the machines are operating correctly ahead of voting time. Cochise County early voting begins on July 6.
In-person voting requires the deployment of voting equipment to be accessible for all voters, including voters with disabilities, as they’re used as ballot marking devices. Ballot audio files are created for every election to accommodate people who may not be able to see the ballot. Upon Wednesday’s testing and review, it was determined the equipment audio program needed a slight pronunciation update.
“These machines are used by all Cochise County voters, so it’s important that all voters have equal access to the ballots,” says Elections Director Lisa M. Marra. “We must ensure voters are clear in their selections when using the audio portion to cast their vote.”
As agreed, the Secretary of State will re-test the accessible voting devices on the machines and continue with the optical and digital equipment test on Sunday, July 3 at 1:00 p.m, at the Elections Department located at 1415 Melody Lane, Building E Bisbee, AZ 85603. The test is open for public viewing.
“Because our County is proud of the work we do in Elections, we wouldn’t feel comfortable changing an audio clip soundbite without re-testing from the beginning,” added Marra. “We believe that a change to audio is a change to the program, and the election should be re-tested for accuracy. Rigorous statewide testing is yet another example of how great election law is in Arizona. We ensure every vote that can be counted is counted accurately and fairly.
Arizona Elections Director Kori Lorick added that the extra steps the County and State are taking during this testing phase are part of a wide range of security measures meant to ensure Arizona elections are accessible.
“This testing is an important step in the process, and we are happy to work with Cochise County so that all voters are able to make their voices heard,” Lorick said.
More information about Cochise County elections can be found at https://www.cochise.az.gov/Elections.