Providing a safe and secure election is critically important to all of us here at the City of Chesapeake. Several residents have reached out to us asking about election security so we've gathered some of those frequently asked questions and provided you with answers right here.
How are you preventing people from voting multiple times at different satellite locations throughout early voting?
We are using the Department of Elections’ Virginia Election and Registration System at each satellite location. This system records who has voted in real time. As soon as a voter votes at one location, all other locations that might attempt to pull up that specific voter will be able to see immediately that the individual has already cast a ballot. This prevents people from trying to vote multiple times.
Are votes counted immediately at each voting site?
Ballots are cast, meaning that they are considered complete and final, as soon as they’re inserted into the voting system machine at the polls. However, the voters are not counted, and a final tally cannot be collected until Election Day.
At the end of each day, what happens to each satellite voting system and the ballots that were cast that day?
Polling is suspended each afternoon by entering a a special code into the equipment. At that time, the number of ballots cast is recorded. The next morning, when the polls are re-opened, the workers must confirm and initial that the number on the machine that morning matches what it was the day before at closing.
Who has access to the ballots throughout the day?
No one can access the ballots inside of the machine unless a voting machine technician has been instructed by the General Registrar or the Electoral Board to open the machine for an official reason. If that occurs, the same security procedures are followed as on Election Day.
If I submit my absentee ballot to a satellite location, what happens to my ballot at the end of the day?
The absentee ballots are secured at the satellite location and then picked up each day by two voting machine technicians. When they make their stops at each satellite location, a form has to be completed showing how many ballots are picked up from each drop box, which is then signed by the Site Supervisor and both technicians transporting those ballots. Once they arrive at the Chesapeake Voter Registrar’s office, the Voter Registrar must sign that she has received the ballots from each location.
Who is supervising the voting?
Each election is supervised by the Chesapeake Electoral Board, which is made up of members of both political parties who are appointed by Circuit Court Judges. The Electoral Board's job is to appoint the Officers of Election and the General Registrar, and to oversee each election including, but not limited to, the counting of absentee ballots, certification of eligibility of voters, and printing of ballots.
Are the poll workers at the libraries qualified/trained?
Each satellite polling location is being staffed by Officers of Election who have worked at polling places in previous elections. The Officers of Election have been trained, sworn-in, and are paid employees who report to the Electoral Board and the Voter Registrar.