Santa Barbara County Readies for Presidential Primary

Santa Barbara County's elections apparatus will be ready for the presidential primary on March 3, 2020. | Credit: Paul Wellman

Santa Barbara County is on track to replace all its ballot-tabulation machines, which are 20 years old, ahead of a state requirement to get up to date. Elections chief Joe Holland said the county had hoped to have more than two choices among approved voting systems, but it has made its selection. The county will also continue to use paper ballots to ensure an audit trail and hand count a percentage of all ballots to test for accuracy. The county has always kept its system disengaged from the internet to prevent electronic tampering. The new machines, paid with state and federal funds matched by the county, should be in tests by September, Holland said, and be ready for the March 3, 2020, presidential primary.


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