Blogs » Victoria County Election Administrator » DRE's - A Good Way to Vote

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There is a lot said, both positive and negative, about the new electronic voting machines. Victoria County has been using the DRE's (direct recording entry) voting devices since November of 2005. We have been very successful in the transition from lever machines to the new electronic voting.

The change of voting system is requred by the Help Amercia Vote Act. Our old lever machines were no longer acceptable for use in federal elections and so the state banned their use as well. Our purchase of a touch screen voting system is a response to these federal and state requirements.

While many people express opinions about the reliability of DRE's, I have found them to provide a more accurate and timely vote record than other voting systems. The computers we use for programming the election are not connected to the Internet so there is no danger of hacking at that point. In addition since we code the election at the local level no vendor may change our coding.

The programming is tested locally for every election to determine votes cast are the same as votes reported. If an discrepancy is observed the programming is reviewed, corrected and re-tested until it works correctly.

The DRE's have security access codes which change for every election. These codes are not published and election personnel have the activiation device only for their precinct. If stolen, the same device will not activate a DRE in another precinct.

Not every system is perfect. We are working to improve our procedures and make it both easier for the voter and more difficult for the hacker.