AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The 2021 May Municipal Elections are now less than 24 hours away, and our election’s integrity is something local officials take very seriously.
Potter County Elections Administrator, Melynn Huntley, stated, “Election integrity starts at the local level. We have to get it right here.” Huntley has worked hard to do just that for the past eight years.
“Election integrity to me means that when you vote your vote, that is what is tabulated. But election integrity also means that one person votes one time, and that the only people that vote in the votes, or tabulator, are people who are registered voters who are legally entitled to vote,” explained Huntley.
As for Randall County Elections Administrator, Shannon Lackey, the term “election integrity” means, “I follow the law, the Texas Election Code down to the letter.”
Lackey additionally shared, “Something I think everyone needs to know is our election equipment is never connected to the internet for any reason. That is Texas law.”
Precautions like this are only the tip of the iceberg for the security measures that take place for every election.
“We go to great lengths, before the machines ever leave here. They are sealed with a numbered seal, and the media is locked inside there. We log that. We know exactly what it looked like when it left here. It gets to the election judge, they have to verify it, then when it comes back to us election night, we verify it a third time to make sure that that hasn’t been tampered with anywhere along the way. And then everything- the media is read, everything is done right here in this office,” explained Lackey.
Additionally, ballot checks and balances are a must.
Huntley stated, “When you vote, you check in on one of the poll paths, and where- there’s a number there that we’re going to grab, and that number needs to correspond to the number of people who voted. So those numbers have to match.”
Following the 2020 November election, Huntley said that they have received a specific question multiple times. She continued, “And that is, I want to be able to see that my vote that you counted is exactly as I voted it, and no, we cannot do that at this point. That is not part of the system.” The Potter County Elections Administrator later stated, “We tell people that if when you review your choices on the screen, and you watch your review is what you wanted it to vote and you say yes, this is exactly what I want, you push ‘Yes’ and then you push, ‘yes’, ‘cast my ballot’, but it will count that way… But we do have secret ballot in this country.”
Lackey shared that everyone who works with her has had to undergo a background check.
In Potter County, there will be 16 polling sites open.
In Randall County, there will be 11 polling sites open.
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