Ballot counters pass the test

Michelle Reagan performs a ballot accuracy testWednesday.  - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Michelle Reagan performs a ballot accuracy testWednesday.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

The Island County ballot counting system passed with flying colors during a test to evaluate the equipment’s accuracy earlier this week.

“There were no surprises,” said Michelle Reagan, assistant elections administrator. “It did what we wanted it to do.”

Reagan and Island County Auditor Sheilah Crider tested the ballot counters’ accuracy in the “the vault” at the Island County Elections Office with an audience of two: Bill Carruthers, chairman of the Island County Republican Party; and Mel Vance, a candidate for the Oak Harbor City Council.

The test, required by Washington state statute, mirrored the procedure that the seven or eight-member ballot counting team will perform on primary election night Aug. 18. The North Whidbey ballot will include the Oak Harbor City Council race between Gerry Oliver, Mel Vance and Scott Dudley, and the Island Transit sales tax increase proposal.

Pre-election ballot equipment evaluations are done prior to each election to ensure a fair and accurate outcome, she said.

Island County purchased its current counting technology, the Hart InterCivic Ballot System, in 2005.

Voters can review the 2009 Primary Election Voter’s Guide online at

The vast majority will vote by mail, but machines will be placed at the Camano Annex and the Island County Elections Office in Coupeville. On election day, machines will be available at the Oak Harbor School District Office, 350 S. Oak Harbor St. and Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 Highway 525, Freeland.

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