Rose Twp. — Keeping elections free and accurate requires a lot of technology, rules and staffing.
On Wednesday, July 25, 27 election workers were trained on the new system Oakland County will be using for the 2018-midterm primary elections.
These workers will handle the township’s three precincts and all absentee ballots.
Workers included several Holly High School (HHS) AP government students, and returning veteran poll workers.
Joseph Rozell, Oakland County elections director, brought everyone up to speed on the new HART Intercivic equipment, in a training class he usually holds at the Oakland County government center. In this case, he made a special trip to the Rose Township offices.
He went over the procedures, and what is different with these new machines.
Some aspects are easier for the workers — these are more forgiving of ballots that have been placed into the box incorrectly. A separate console for hearing- and vision-impaired voters is more user-friendly.
“It explains if you completed your ballot correctly or exactly what errors you have made, if any,” said Rose Township Clerk Debbie Miller.
Voters will find out immediately if their ballot was cast, and if not, why it had an error. This is important during the primary election — splitting the ticket will result in an error message and let the voter recast a ballot correctly.
With this new system, election workers get codes for system access, instead of keys.
As always, the ballots are counted electronically after they are placed in the ballot box. After the election is closed, the modems within the boxes are activated to send results to the county.
To protect the integrity of the election, three physical tapes of the results are printed before the modems are switched on, creating a hard copy
record before the results are electronically transmitted.
“Michigan Election Law is constantly changing and we must remain knowledgeable of the up-to-date processes,” Miller said. She said there is a biannual (every two years) certification, and annual classes to keep up with the laws governing elections.
Miller usually seeks HHS AP government students to help as well. “The importance of having the AP Government students is to raise a stronger new generation of voters who will fully understand and participate more fully in the election process and the local community,” Miller said. “These people are our future leaders and we need to make sure they have as much information as we can provide for them so they can do their homework and make an informed decision.”