In accordance with 10 ILCS 5/24A-9, prior to each election, a Public Test must be conducted to ensure that the voting equipment and automatic tabulating apparatus used in the county will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and referendums.
A test deck is generated by the Peoria County Election Commission that ensures every candidate and referendum option on the ballot receives two votes. One vote for each candidate/referendum option is processed via election day procedures and the other vote is processed via vote by mail procedures. Testing both procedures verifies that all equipment is working accurately and allows for greater transparency with the different voting processes. The election staff will invite any individuals who attend the Public Test to mark test ballots. A portion of test ballots will also be marked on the ADA compliant voting machine (i.e., Verity Touchwriter) to illustrate how voting on this device works.
After the test ballots are marked, test ballots for election day processes are run through the scanner (i.e., Verity Scan). Verity Scan can be used with hand-marked ballots or ballots marked and printed on the Verity Touchwriter. The test ballots designated for vote by mail processes will be scanned using the Verity Central Workstation. Inserting predefined test ballots into the scanner ensures:
- There are no paper size or stock issues.
- The specific ballot styles (collections of contests and candidates) available to voters in a precinct can be counted by the scanner.
- Error conditions, such as smudged ballots, ballots with marginal marks, ballots with over-voted contests, tears, etc., are out stacked or otherwise recorded for future adjudication or replication by staff.
All results are then tabulated in the Verity Count Workstation. The results are then compared to the expected results from the test deck. Any discrepancies from the expected results will be identified and resolved.