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(WBIR) People across Tennessee will head to the polls Thursday to decide the County General and State Primary races.

Those votes help decide who will represent our area. It's up to the election commission to make sure every vote counted is fair and accurate.

In Knox County, votes are tallied on an e-slate electronic voting machine. At each precinct those machines are connected to a central counting device called the judges booth control.

Knox County Administrator of Elections Cliff Rodgers said a card inside the judges booth control is responsible for capturing all the information from voters.

When the polls close, the machine is taken to the City-County building where the card is removed and delivered to a secure room.

Inside that room on election night are representatives from each political party.

"You've always got Democrats and Republicans here. At least one of each party and usually there's a couple of each party back here all the time," Rodgers said.

Then a secure computer reads and tallies the votes from each card. It is not connected to the internet or any other computer.

That data then gets put on a compact flash drive and carried over to another computer which displays the results on the internet.

"That way there is no connection between the internet and any of the equipment that we here in the election commission office," Rodgers said.

It's a safety measure that ensures each vote is accounted for.

Other checks and balances:

  • Each voting machine is sealed on site
  • Machine results can be read later if there is a problem with the data
  • Two paper copies are printed from each judges booth control device after the last vote is cast
  • One copy is posted at the polling site for the public to see
  • The other copy is delivered to the election commission office
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