Prepping for Election Day: An inside look at ensuring accuracy in the Sedgwick County Election Office

Your Local Election HQ

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After some doubts about mail-in voting and elections in general, the Sedgwick County Election Office is opening up its poll worker training to provide insight on just how accurate the local election process is.

Hundreds of poll workers will go through training leading up to Election Day.

“I knew that there was a need this year, especially with the coronavirus,” said Jennifer Elliott, poll worker. “A lot of people didn’t feel comfortable volunteering for one thing or another, so I decided this would be my year.”

From learning how to properly scan an ID to recognizing fake paperwork, the volunteers are given the tools they need to ensure accurate voting and to make sure voters are who they say they are.

“We do signature verification,” said Melissa Schnieders, deputy election commissioner for Sedgwick County. “Some of us have had specialized training from the FBI on handwriting analysis.”

Poll workers said they’re confident in their training and believe it prepares them for Election Day.

“This is one of the most thorough, well-organized training sessions I’ve ever been in,” said Walt Chappell, poll worker. “Very well thought out, sequentially and hands-on it’s very well thought through and I’m very impressed.”

Election officials said there is technology to guarantee no one can vote more than once and follow-ups to check everything several times.

“We use a software system that does not allow you to vote more than once,” said Schnieders. “Other than that, it would be a provisional ballot and the one that comes back to the office first is the one that’s counted, everything else is rejected.”

For mail-in ballots, they’re opened, scanned in, and checked more than once. The same goes for voter registrations.

“The machines do the count, but we have a double check system in place that we verify before we announce those numbers,” said Schnieders. “Then of course, we have the audit.”

Schnieders said since post-election audits were made mandatory years ago, Sedgwick County has received a perfect score every time.

Election officials guarantee that their process is accurate and there are several procedures in place to check and double-check the accuracy.

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, you still have time. Click here for more information on becoming a poll worker.

For more information about the Sedgwick County Election Office, click here.

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