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County equipment is tested, ready to go for Election Day

 


As part of the ongoing process to prepare for Election Day, officials in all 93 counties have successfully completed a mock election, said Secretary of State John Gale.

The mock election is standard practice prior to every statewide election. In addition to testing machines that read and tabulate the ballots, the process also includes making sure results are posted properly on the Secretary of State’s website.

Starting at 8 p.m. Central Time (7 p.m. Mountain Time) on May 10, the first results from the primary will be published live at sos.ne.gov. Results will be updated every five minutes thereafter.

“As required by law, three independently created sets of ballots are used to test the system,“ Gale said. “The election official creates one set, another member of their office creates a second set and the final set is generated by the election system vendor.”

Results generated from the tabulation equipment are compared to hand-counted ballots, to ensure that the totals are accurate. Any problems are identified and worked out, which can take several days, before the mock election is complete.

“Once the election is over, we will go through a similar process by which we randomly audit election results reported in two percent of the precincts to ensure that the results were the same.” Gale said. “This helps establish the reliability of the equipment, both before and after the election.”

The first ballots to be tabulated will be early voting ballots. Once the first returns are reported on Election Night, vote totals will include those placed at the polls.

“The results reported on Election Night are unofficial,” Gale said. “Often, counties are still counting provisional ballots and early voting ballots for several more days, as allowed by law.”

 

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