In the wake of the theft of vote-tabulating computer cards from the West Bloomfield Township Clerk’s Office, the township’s Election Commission will meet at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 2 to conduct a public accuracy test of randomly selected voting machines.
The test will be conducted in the Board of Trustees meeting room in the West Bloomfield Township Hall.
“The public may randomly select several machines and the commission will publicly test them for accuracy,” Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy said. “The voters have a right to know that the ballot process is safe and secure. I want everyone to know the many safeguards in effect to protect elections and make sure that every vote counts.”
The test is state-mandated and must be conducted before every election, according to Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy is the chairperson of the Election Commission, whose members also include Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste and Trustee Gene Farber.
This comes as the West Bloomfield Police Department continues to investigate the theft of the cards, which were discovered missing on July 11 from a secured location in the Clerk’s Office.
Police Chief Michael Patton said there was no forced entry and that police are examining employee records. He said a comprehensive review is being done, with no deadline as to when the investigation will conclude.
Shaughnessy said that backup cards will be used for the upcoming Aug. 7 primary election and that the election’s integrity has not been compromised.
The Clerk’s Office is reporting an increase in the number of absentee ballots being issued for this year’s primary election, with 7,812 being distributed to date, which is the highest number since the 2000 primary election.
An absentee ballot can be downloaded by logging onto wbtwp.com and clicking on the “Clerk” tab on the left corner, or by calling 248-451-4848.