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Letter from Secretary Paul Ziriax to the Legislature regarding election security and integrity: READ LETTER

How We Vote in Oklahoma

HISTORY

In the early 1990's, the State of Oklahoma implemented a uniform, statewide voting system using paper ballots that were hand-marked by voters and counted by accurate, reliable precinct-based optical scan tabulators.

In 2012, using funds from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the Oklahoma State Election Board purchased the eScan A/T voting device and deployed it for use in all 77 counties across the state.

TODAY

Oklahoma continues the tradition of utilizing paper ballots that are hand-marked by voters and counted by the eScan A/T – an accurate, reliable precinct-based optical scan tabulator – in all 77 counties.

In fact, no matter where you live in our state, voting is the same for more than two million registered voters. We mark the same style of ballots, during the same hours, subject to the same standards and regulations – all tabulated by the same optical scanning voting devices.

As Oklahomans and election officials, we take great pride in our election system. It is one of the most reliable, accurate, secure, efficient, and cost-effective voting systems in the world.

Here are the FACTS about voting devices in Oklahoma:

  • Voters vote the same way, using the same voting device in all 77 counties.
  • Oklahoma uses the custom-built eScan A/T, an optical scan voting device, manufactured by Hart InterCivic.
  • The eScan A/T is an auditable and verifiable, paper ballot-based voting system.
  • While the eScan A/T uses secure ATI (audio tactile interface) technology to offer audio ballot sessions for disabled voters to cast their ballots privately and independently, all sessions are activated using a paper ballot assigned to the voter.
  • Paper ballots are read, counted and deposited into a secure voting bin when the voter inserts a ballot into the machine.
  • Both paper ballots and printed vote tallies, generated by the device, are secured until results are certified. (Additionally, paper ballots and printed vote tallies are retained up to 24 months following each election.)
  • Oklahoma’s voting devices are never connected to the internet.
  • Oklahoma’s voting devices and components are protected by a detailed, security plan which includes multi-factor authentication and anti-tampering verification.
  • Both ballots and devices are secured through a strict chain of custody that is maintained through the certification of the election.
  • Voting devices in all 77 counties are owned and maintained by the State Election Board, as well as the software used to program the voting devices and tabulate the votes AND the network used to securely communicate with our county election boards.
  • Election programming and tabulation is conducted by state and county election personnel. Prior to every election, state and county election board staff test election databases and ballots to ensure efficient and accurate reporting.
  • The State Election Board employs its own in-house technicians who conduct routine and annual maintenance of our voting devices, reducing the need for voting devices to be shipped to the manufacturer for repairs covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

FAQs

How accurate is the eScan A/T?

The eScan A/T has a reputation for reliable function and accurate results.

See how the eScan works.

Have the results of the eScan A/T ever been disputed?

While hand-counts are occasionally requested in Oklahoma elections, Oklahoma’s eScan A/T has proven to be exceptionally reliable and accurate.


  2021
City of Edmond, City Council Election, Ward 3
April 6 Statutory Municipal General Election

  2020
State Senator, District 5 Runoff Primary Election
August 25 Runoff Primary Election

Petitioner, Sheryl Janis, filed for a recount contesting the results of all City of Edmond, Ward 3 precincts in the Edmond City Council, Ward 3 election held on April 6.

Sheryl Janis received 5,263 votes and her opponent, Christin Mugg, received 5,328 votes.

A recount was conducted on April 20 and the recount confirmed the outcome of the election.

Petitioner, Justin Jackson, filed for a recount contesting the results in every precinct in Senator District 5, which included five counties (Choctaw, Atoka, Pushmataha, McCurtain, and LeFlore), for the State Senator, District 5 Runoff Primary Election held on August 25.

Justin Jackson received 2,081 votes and his opponent, George H. Burns, received 2,103 votes.

A recount was conducted on September 1 and the recount confirmed the outcome of the election.


What happens in the event of a power outage or technical issue?

While the eScan A/T has a reputation for reliable function, all voting devices are equipped with a secure, emergency ballot bin. In the event of a power outage or technical issue, voters can deposit their marked ballots into a locked, emergency ballot bin. Ballots are counted once the power has been restored or the voting devices and equipment have been returned to the County Election Board. 

How do I know my vote was counted?

Ballots are “counted” when the voter inserts his or her marked ballot into the voting device. The precinct-based ballot scanner reads the ballot and the device indicates that the ballot was accepted.

If a ballot cannot be accepted, the device will immediately reject the ballot and the voter will have the opportunity to insert the ballot into the device again or “spoil” the ballot and request a new ballot from poll workers.

A ballot may be rejected by the device if a voter has “undervoted” or “overvoted.” Voters have the opportunity to override the rejection by choosing to cast their ballot as it is.

How are election results recorded?

Ballots are read by the voting device’s optical scanning mechanism and recorded, then transferred to a mobile ballot box (MBB), which is similar to a flash-drive. A paper tally is also printed and used to verify the results on the MBB.

How are results transmitted to the State Election Board?

Once voting devices, ballots, and supplies have been returned to the County Election Board, County Election Board officials will verify results and transmit them to the State Election Board through a virtual private network (VPN.)

How does an audio ballot session work for disabled voters?

Disabled voters are provided a regular paper ballot, which must be inserted into the eScan A/T to activate an audio ballot session. The voter uses headphones and a hand-held device to listen to a reading of the ballot and mark their choices. Voters may also use a variety of other tools, such as a sip-and-puff, to interact with the device. At the end of the session, voters have the opportunity to review their selections before casting their ballot.

Learn more about accessibility services.

Are Oklahoma’s voting devices “certified?”

In Oklahoma, the Secretary of the State Election Board is responsible for certifying all voting devices.

How can I learn more about Oklahoma’s voting devices?

Be a precinct official! Training and serving as a precinct official are the best ways to learn first-hand about Oklahoma’s voting devices and election system.

Learn more about becoming a precinct official.

Last Modified on Aug 12, 2021
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