“We have a technician open the machines, and set them for zero. He will make a printout of the ballot and puts a label on the machine for protection. We put four or five seals on them and then another when the polls close,” said Thomas. “They stay impounded for 30 days after an election to make sure all totals match.”
Currently, some of the voting machines are stored in the Trigg County Recreation Complex secured by chain and padlock. Thomas said the presence of seals on the equipment ensures that any evidence of tampering will be apparent to inspectors.
The inspectors are comprised by the County Board of Elections, including the Republican and Democratic Party Chairs, the County Sheriff and County Clerk. Thomas said that the inspection is open to members of the media and candidates or a designated representative.
“We’re trying to ensure the integrity of elections, with checks, double checks and triple checks,” Thomas said.
In addition to state offices including Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, and Treasurer, several local positions appear on the ballot. Democratic James Hughes and Republican Roger Knight will be joined by write-in candidate Michael R. Calhoun for the position of County Jailer. Regina Wilkerson-Jasper challenges Donna McNichols for a seat on the Cadiz City Council and George Colbert has announced his intention to run as a write-in candidate for the office of Constable for District Three.
Thomas said that any qualified applicant might run as a write-in by filing appropriate paperwork, collecting two signatures on a petition and paying a $50 fee. Write-in candidates will not appear on the ballot.