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Preston tests election systems ahead of early voting

Preston County’s voting systems were publicly tested on Friday in preparation for early voting, which starts April 27.

Seven different ballots — one of each kind — were tested to ensure a variety of parameters were met, Kim Dixon, deputy county clerk said.

County Clerk Linda Huggins explained they make sure the machines don’t allow a voter to over-vote, that it allows blank ballots, that write-in candidates are accepted and cross-voting, since it’s a primary election, isn’t allowed.

The county’s three commissioners, Don Smith, Samantha Stone and Dave Price helped Huggins and Dixon with the tests by acting as the voters and submitting predetermined ballots which at the end were matched to Dixon’s calculations. 

There were three days of testing done prior to Friday’s public test, Dixon said. 

“We haven’t really had any issues at all,” she said.

One of the ballot readers, which makes a filled-out ballot official, had a faulty screen, but was replaced.

Early voting, at the Kingwood Plaza Election Center, begins 8:30 a.m-5:30 p.m. April 27and keeps those same hours on April 28 and 29. On April 30, early voting hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Hours are 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. May 2-6 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 7.

Election day is May 10 and polls will be open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

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