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Riverside County Registrar of Voters tests voting system ahead of March 5 Presidential Primary

State-mandated testing of Riverside County’s voting system took place Friday, ahead of California's March 5 Presidential Primary Election.

The public and media were invited to observe a series of logic and accuracy tests conducted by staff at the Registrar of Voters. “We absolutely not only care about the process, but we want to be extremely transparent. We want the public to be able to come out here witness firsthand this whole process, which is not only fascinating, but it's a lot of steps,” according to Registrar of Voters Art Tinoco.

Tinoco explained that members of his team processed ballots that contained selections of every candidate or measure in every contest before the results were tallied.

Staff showed that the voting system machines are offline. They also showed how the system picked out ballots that were incorrectly filled out and needed further examination by an election worker.

"Every computer here is self-isolated. It's never been on the internet. It's never been on any outside network. It's never been on the County network," according to a Riverside County Information Technology staff member.

A new scanner that will be in operation at all voting centers on election day was also part of the assessment. The purpose of the machine is to help speed-up ballot counting.

Staff evaluated the voting system’s overall performance, in order to assure voters, like Riverside resident Timothy Nelson, their choices will be accurately recorded. 

“Yeah it was accurate. It’s always a good thing. you know you don't want to have any question about your ballot or anybody else’s ballot, so you want to make sure they go through all safeguards and redundancy so yeah i’m happy with it," according to Nelson.

Nelson was among a small group of public observers that showed up for testing on Friday.

The public is encouraged to get involved in the election observation process which is open starting Monday, when official ballots will start going out.

On February 15, 2024, the public will be invited to tour the Registrar of Voters office and see in detail how ballots are processed.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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