The Sarasota County supervisor of elections and staff are committed to the integrity of the elections process. Your county elections office team works diligently to ensure that our elections are fair, accurate and secure. Here are just some of the ways that we work to keep our elections safe:
· The Florida Division of Elections validates every voter registration application and verifies the identity of each applicant.
· Our voter registration database is updated routinely to remove deceased voters and felons, and our office uses voter registration list maintenance to help identify voters who may have moved.
· Voters must be registered to vote in Sarasota County and are asked to present a current and valid form of photo and signature identification prior to receiving a ballot during early voting or on election day.
· For vote-by-mail ballots, the signature on the voter certificate envelope is checked by our office against the voter’s signature on file.
· Voter records are updated in real time so that no voter may vote twice in an election. Once a voter returns a vote-by-mail ballot or checks in during early voting or on election day to vote, the voter’s record will show that he or she has already voted.
· Our state-certified voting system is rigorously tested before each election to ensure that every piece of tabulating equipment is counting votes accurately. We also conduct a public test of the system prior to each election.
· Sarasota County uses paper ballots, which means a trail of every vote cast. These ballots are stored under video surveillance for up to 22 months after an election and can be rescanned or counted by hand if required.
· Ballots and voting equipment are secured in controlled-access areas, equipped with 24-hour video surveillance and alarms, until deployed for voting. During early voting and on election day, tabulators are in plain sight and secured with seals that are numbered and tamper resistant.
· Strict ballot reconciliation procedures are in place during the elections process (for vote-by-mail, early voting, and election day voting) to compare the number of persons who voted with the number of ballots cast.
· We use a stand-alone (not connected to the Internet) results reporting system and reconcile precinct-level totals with composite election results to ensure they match.
· Following each election, we conduct a manual audit of all ballots cast during early voting, vote-by-mail, and on election day in a randomly selected race and precinct to ensure the hand count matches the machine count.