Dane County Clerk assures voters electronic voting is secure
With the August primary coming up in a few weeks, some voters said they are concerned with hacking as they cast their ballots.
Voters have two options for the upcoming fall primary in the Madison area: They can use a traditional paper ballot or they can express vote.
Express voting allows voters to electronically vote without using the internet and minimizes mistakes to ensure the votes count. The system prints out the responses and is counted the same as a paper ballot.
The Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said voters have nothing to fear when using the electronic option.
"We audit our machines, we are the only county in the state that actually goes above what is required by the state and we do additional audits where we count the paper to make sure it matched what we recorded on election night," McDonell said.
With rising concerns over hacking in elections, McDonell said express vote is a completely safe option for voters.
"None of our election equipment is connected to the internet, it's locked in a secure room, it's encrypted," McDonell said.
He said his office takes several measures to ensure voting is accurate including testing the machines, conducting a mini-election, audits and more.
As of Monday, absentee voting for the upcoming August 14 election will be available at all Madison libraries.
The director for Madison Public Libraries, Greg Mickells, said voting at libraries is a popular option in Madison. Of the approximately 56,000 votes cast for the presidential election in Madison, more than 40,000 were cast at libraries.
On Monday, about 10 people showed up to the downtown library to vote early. Mickells said having voting available in a library informs the public and offers extended hours for voters.
"If it's more convenient for after work, the city clerks office might be closed, the library is open so that is another advantage is expanded hours for voting," Mickells said.