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Behind the scenes: How Missouri election workers secure, manage elections

"It's all tamper proof"
Clay County Elections.jpg
Posted at 3:44 PM, Nov 07, 2022

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — Over the course of the next three days, the KSHB I-Team will be working with Clay County election officials to give voters an inside look what takes place behind the scenes to ensure elections are secure.

On Monday, at the Clay County Board of Election Commissioners, 83 packages were loaded into vehicles of judges and distributed to each precinct.

It's a multi-layered process to make sure each precinct is ready for Election Day.

Ballots, poll books and pens, each marked with a specific poll number are located in a large room that's typically locked and always closed off to the public.

Poll workers worked in unison to collect the materials as judge after judge arrived for duty.

Patty Lamb is the Republican Director for the Board of Election Commissioners.

She explained the process of pickup day to the I-Team.

"First thing they'll do is, they'll check in and they'll say what precinct they're here for," Lamb said. "Then the runners will come in and say I need poll number five."

All the materials are packaged neatly together and spread out on more than 24 tables. Each item is labeled with a number that represents the poll it needs to go to.

Inside a large, red bag is a chain of custody form that gets signed off on by each team at the polling locations.

"It’s all got seals on everything, on the memory stick, everything, to where it's all tamper proof," Lamb said. "The judges can't get in. They sign off and all the judges that work at a poll tomorrow, which is a bipartisan team, equal number of democrats, equal number of republicans at each poll."

In a backroom, directly behind where the ballots and other package for judges are stored, are ballot printing and tabulating machines.

Each machine has a lock with a special code on it.

Patrick Flora, a poll worker, is charged with monitoring the equipment and loading it up on a cart for the judges.

"My job is, they (poll workers) bring me a poll number and every poll is specific to these machines (ballot machines) and those machines (tabulating machines). I match that number with that one and put it on the cart and out it goes."

Before anything is loaded into a judge's vehicle, other poll workers wait outside to check off that all the necessary materials have been collected and that the materials match the correct precinct.

On Tuesday, once the polls have closed, a Republican and Democrat team will deliver the ballots back to the board of election commissioners. The staff will then remove the USB drives and insert the drive into a machine that will begin tabulating the votes.

Then, on Wednesday, poll workers will return to conduct a post election audit to ensure the votes were tabulated correctly.

The I-Team will be there on Tuesday and Wednesday to show voters the entire process.


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