HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County is gearing up for the election season.
On Thursday, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office packed up more than 20 pallets of ballots onto large moving trucks for delivery to the post office, totaling more than 316,000 mail-in ballots.
The Canvassing Board also met Thursday to oversee a public Logic & Accuracy Test of ballot scanners that will be used in the 2022 General Election.
Florida’s Supervisors of Elections are required by law to use election equipment that meets the state’s certification standards and to perform this Logic & Accuracy Test before every election.
During the test, staff members scanned stacks of pre-filled ballots into a random selection of the ballot scanners that will be used for all three methods of voting (Early Voting, Vote By Mail and Election Day voting).
The results of the scan will then be compared to the expected results to confirm that the scanners are reading every position on the ballot and counting votes accurately, according to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office.
“Transparency is one of the keys to everything we do right now. We’ve always done the same thing it’s just now people are looking,” said Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
Teresa Miller with Protect Your Vote Florida was one of the people watching to make sure the process was transparent. “I really just wanted to say I was part of the process from the beginning until the end and figure out where it needs to be tightened up. The mail-in ballots, are definitely an issue in my opinion,” Miller said. She would like to put poll watchers in every precinct during the election and have more time to inspect signatures.
“So we only have access to the mail-in ballot signatures for 45 minutes a day, and 50% of the votes come in that way so we’d really like to have a little more access to that,” Miller said.
“It was a big thing in the past that people would talk about, ‘Well we don’t know who’s voting by mail.’ Yeah, we do, we know exactly who’s voting by mail because you have to be a registered voter and request that vote by mail ballot. We’re going to send it to where you tell us to send it and then you’re going to send it back to us,” Latimer said.
The results of the election equipment testing are expected to be posted by Friday morning.
Voters can still make a request for a mail ballot by visiting VoteHillsborough.gov or calling 813-744-5900.