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Early voting gets under way today

Barry Horsley gets ready to lock up the room after voting machines have been installed.

Sun Advocate associate editor

The county clerk's office and information technology department completed the setup of electronic voting machines in the courthouse Monday to prepare for the start of early voting Tuesday.

Polling begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. each day through Friday. Monday through Thursday next week the polls will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Friday until 5 p.m.

Five Diebold machines are in the small meeting room, ready to go.

County IT Coordinator Barry Horsley explained that the machines each have redundant backup systems to make sure voting records are accurate.

Each machine has its own coded chip, like the chip in an electronic camera. At the end of each day, the chips are taken to the main server to be downloaded. The computer server knows how many chips are issued and makes sure each one counted.

In addition to the portable chips, each machine has internal digital storage and also produces a paper printout.

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