HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office is like a fortress, with workers meticulously checking 340 voting machines-one for each precinct in the county-just weeks before election day.
Those machines are safe and secure. Supervisor Craig Latimer knows that’s imperative.
“The biggest thing is in Florida – we run paper ballots,” Latimer said. “So, we can always recreate the election. We can always prove the machines counted the votes accurately and properly.”
2000 was the year of the hanging chad. Florida was thrust into the national spotlight during the presidential election. The outcome wasn’t known for more than a month after balloting, eventually settling in George W. Bush’s favor by just a few hundred votes.
Election officials were furious over lost, misplaced or uncounted ballots. Hillsborough County had few issues and Latimer wants that to be the case 16 years later.
“We’re on our third different type of voting machine since 2000. Technology is a large part of what we do,” he said.
There’s been talk on the national level about voter fraud, caused by other governments, like Russia. Latimer isn’t concerned about that.
Meanwhile, tens-of-thousands of vote-by-mail ballots are being printed, sealed and mailed. Voters have until October 11 to register. Election day is November 8.
More than 825,000 people are registered to vote in Hillsborough County, statistics show.