Public testing of Wisconsin voting equipment begins Saturday ahead of April 4 Spring Election

The public can witness how election officials are preparing for the upcoming election and better understand security protocols between March 25 and April 3.
Posted at 4:58 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 17:58:23-04

MILWAUKEE — Public testing of electronic voting equipment begins Saturday for the April 4 Spring Election.

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the test allows the public to witness how election officials are preparing for the upcoming election and to better understand the security protocols in place. Communities are allowed to witness the testing between March 25 and April 3.

All municipalities are required by law to conduct a public test of their equipment no earlier than 10 days before each election.

"Pre-election testing is intended to confirm the accuracy of voting equipment programming and to bring transparency to the process," WEC said in a statement Friday.

Voters can check their local notice to see when the public test is scheduled for their municipalities.

"Programming is verified by feeding a set of pre-marked test ballots into each machine and reviewing the results tape that is generated. An errorless count is required at the conclusion of the testing," WEC said.

Any errors during testing are required to be fixed before the equipment can be used. After the public test, the voting equipment and memory device are required to be secured.

"The Commission tells local clerks to keep memory devices in the equipment with a tamper-evident seal and to maintain a chain-of-custody log that documents any access to each memory device or tabulator by a member of the clerk’s office," WEC shared.

Making your vote count: How Milwaukee tests electronic voting machines