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Harris County Clerk Reassures Voters About Ballot Integrity

Harris County’s chief election official says layers of checks and balances help ensure the integrity of the voting process.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, with one of the Election Judge booth controllers that will be used in the November 8th elections
Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, with one of the Election Judge booth controllers that will be used in the November 8th elections.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says elections follow the Federal and State Election Code. He says before any ballots are cast, a very detailed process ensures that voting machines are accurately set up, overseen by appointees from both major parties. Votes at each polling place are stored on judge booth controllers that are delivered under seal.

“At no time are any of these voting machines connected to the internet. And every encrypted card created to use in that, in the voting machines are carefully tracked.”

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

The SD-like cards that record votes at each polling station, are resealed for transport back to one of four locations for tabulation. “The judge booth controller is only connected to a standard power outlet, and daisy-chained to the e-slate voting booths. We can as many as 12 of these booths connected in a daisy chain. That is the only connection. There’s…no way these machines are ever connected to the internet. They don’t even have a connector to do anything as such.”  

Stanart says there are many eyes and many triggers in the whole system that would uncover fraudulent voting. He says news stories about Russian hacking don’t concern actual votes. “Well, number one, they just got access to a voter registration roll. Okay, like I said, that’s public knowledge. Voter registrar does no longer put the date of birth on the internet, and that’s in Texas Election Code. So there’s some things that could be more used for identity theft than, I think, than actually ever used for the purpose of anything beyond that.”  

Stanart expects 1.4 million voters in the county will cast ballots for the November 8th election.

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Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with much of his early career as a rock’n’roll disc jockey. He worked as part of a morning show team on album rock station KLBJ-FM, and later co-hosted a morning show at adult rock station KGSR, both in Austin. Ed also conducted...

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