Hillsborough elections supervisor runs machine tests ahead of Florida primary
TAMPA, Fla. - The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections ran a test on its tabulation machines in preparation of the August 23 Florida primary.
Hillsborough's election counters ran 3,238 ballots through their machines and tabulated 100% correctly.
"We have looked at our ballots, we have edited everything, we have proofed everything," said Hillsborough County Supervisor Craig Latimer.
Thursday morning, the elections' office sent out 300,000 previously-requested mail ballots for the primary.
The supervisor acknowledged the increased scrutiny elections offices face around the country, but points out there were no substantiated claims of fraud in 2020. He said since 2017, he has referred only 14 individual voters to law enforcement for potential wrongdoing.
This will also be the first election Florida's election police are in operation.
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"I think it is going to be a great addition," said Latimer. "The state has anecdotally told me they are glad as heck to have the extra help to do the follow-up, because there are the ones that have to man the fraud line."
There was a minor dustup at the counting demonstration Thursday as Hillsborough County's GOP leadership complained about a canvassing board rule that only allows credentialed media to film the process.
"You are providing footage, so you can show the general public that we went to this," said chair Jim Waurishuk. "I want to do the same things with my party members where I can put out information that, yeah, we were here."
The elections' supervisor pointed out that the federal goverment considers the building critical infrastructure, and said security concerns are paramount.
"We can't ensure that anybody else who picks their iPhone and just starts taking pictures is going to have the same integrity that the media is going to have," said Latimer.
Now that the tests have been run, the equipment has been sealed and kept under surveillance until it is sent to voting locations.