With mid-terms coming up, the Lamar County Elections office has complied a list of common questions asked of them in hopes to clear the minds of voters and to reassure voters the Lamar County Elections office is do everything to make elections in Lamar County safe and secure.
Q: What equipment do we use?
A: Election Systems & Software, we’ve been running elections since 2002 with ES&S, with complete accuracy on every election we conduct.
Q: Can your machines be connected to the internet?
A: They do not have the capability to be connected to the internet as the law states per the Secretary of State, Elections division, in Texas.
Q: Are we paper ballots?
A: Lamar County has always been and will continue to be all paper, no casting ballots electronically, as that is not an option.
Q: What is …”that machine we vote on??”
A: That machine is an express vote that can also not be connected to the internet. It is ADA compliant and is simply a marking device. Instead of bubbling an oval you select your candidate/measure to be voted on. When you have finished your ballot you review your selections and press print. Your ballot will come back out with your selections and you deposit that into our “DS200” that tallies those ballots just like its always been in Lamar County.
Q: What if I want to see reports from past elections?
A: We have “Record of Election” books that results from every single election are printed for public viewing at anytime. You can also go to our website www.lamarcountyvotes.com and click “Election Results” and view all elections back to 2012.
Q: How do you process Deceased and Felon records to assure your voter registration roles are clean and accurate?
A: We receive death and felony abstracts from other Lamar county offices, as well as other counties and the Texas Secretary of State. Besides the fact that we check our local obituaries daily.
Q: How does ballot by mail work?
A: Its a very lengthy process, in order to receive a ballot in the mail you must first request an application from our office and fill it out correctly with your name, address, reason for voting by mail, which election you are requesting for if, not annual. The state also requires one of your Identification numbers to be on the application, as in Drivers license, Texas ID or last four of your social security number which has to be matched in our state data base or the application will be rejected. If all is correct on the application then we get all of our applications together for organization by precinct, school districts, city districts and party affiliation if in a Primary. We then continue in the process of creating labels for each individual envelope and secrecy envelopes. Those are then sent to all voters to be voted and returned. We note in our system daily what ballots have been received. On Election Day, our early voting ballot board convenes to process all ballot by mail. I present them with the number of ballots received and the first thing they do is count to make sure those numbers match. From here they pull the application and match it to the ballot envelope signature. If those signatures do not match that ballot envelope will not be opened, If it matches then it gets passed to be opened and then those ballots are cast into the DS200. All ballots that are rejected for non signature or no signature will be sent a rejection letter in the mail.
Q: Do you keep your ballots from past elections?
A: Our records retention period is 22 months. The things that we keep besides the ballots are signature sheets, all report tapes from early voting, mail, provisional and election day. Limited ballot records. All testing data and reports and any pertinent information from that election.
Q: Do you test your equipment before the elections?
A: Yes. Per the Secretary of State a Logics and Accuracy testing is required before any and all elections. It is open to the public and has always been for transparency.
“If you have any other questions about anything we do, please ask and we will be more than happy to help and/or explain the process.”
To get more information, call the Lamar County Elections office at 903-782-1116.