Clay County tests voting equipment ahead of August primaries

On Friday, the voting machines that will be used in next month’s primary election were tested in Clay County.

Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless says the logic and accuracy test ensures that all the equipment is functioning and can count ballots properly ahead of the election.

“It has to achieve 100% accurate, not 99.9% but 100%,” Chambless said.

Voting is going to look a little bit different this year because of the pandemic.

The Clay County Supervisor of Elections office told Action News Jax it is sending out boxes of sanitizing supplies to all of their voting and precinct locations.

When voters head to the polls, each polling location will be constantly wiped down and sanitized.

“I have 42 gallons of hand sanitizer, if you wanted to know where all of the PPE supplies are, it’s because I bought them. I have 50,000 masks, I have 10,000 gloves, I have 6,000 containers of disposable wipes,” Chambless said.

Social distancing will also be in place this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

This year sample ballots were also sent out for the primary election to help speed up the voting process.

Chambless said it allows someone the time they need to research the candidates so they know what selections to make on Election Day.

Once the Supervisor of Elections Office finishes the test, all the equipment is locked up in a secure location until the election.

“There are many, many cameras that are recording 24 hours a day so the seals that are checked that are placed on the equipment are checked prior to the polls opening,” he said.

The supervisor of elections office says it has sent out 37,000 absentee ballots and so far they’ve received around 8,000 ballots back.

Early voting in Clay County will take place next week on Aug. 6 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and will run until Aug. 15

The primary election is Aug. 18.

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