Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Henderson County election officials assure accurate vote count in November

Aaron Troutman, an Elections Specialist at the Henderson County Board of Elections, demonstrates a vote tabulating machine during Monday’s meeting.

Election officials in Henderson County want voters to know that when they cast their ballots in November the election results will be accurate.

“You can trust your local elections because your neighbors, friends and family run them,” Henderson County Board of Elections Director Karen Hebb told a group of about 40 people Monday evening.
The group gathered at the Henderson County Public Library for a voter education meeting where Hebb and other election officials explained step-by-step how votes are cast, counted and secured during elections.
Hebb, who began working in the county’s election office in 1986, said all the workers in her office take their jobs seriously. They follow strict security measures and perform multiple audits to make sure every vote is counted accurately.
Election workers test voting machines before elections to make sure they count votes accurately, test systems designed to transmit those results to the state and secure the machines before and after elections, she said.
They also make sure voters cast their ballots either by mail, during early voting and on election day. If there is a question about a voter’s eligibility, the voter is allowed a provisional ballot that is counted once the question is resolved.
Hebb and other elections officials repeatedly told the group that “they never turn any voter away for any reason.”
Aaron Troutman, a county native and veteran who also works as an elections specialist in the election office, used a vote tabulating machine in the meeting room to demonstrate in detail how it works and all the steps election officials take to keep it secure.
“This machine is the brains behind the election system,” he said. “They are very accurate. In every test in every audit we’ve ever done, we’ve never had any discrepancies.”
The machines are secured with “zip seals” before and after elections to keep them secure.
Hebb also said the machines are put to the test after each election before results become official through test audits. The test audits compare votes in a sample of precincts by counting the machine tabulated votes with a vote tally by hand.
The voting machines are always accurate.
“We have never had a difference. We are 100 percent,” she said.
Hebb also pointed to the 2020 election for chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, in which Republican challenger Paul Newby defeated Democratic incumbent Cheri Beasley by 401 votes out of more than 5.4 million cast. Multiple audits and recounts in that race resulted in only minor changes to the initial count.
“If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will,” she said.
Election officials did not take questions at the meeting. They urged anyone with a question to send an email to the office. The board of elections email can be found on its website Officials at the board of elections are also available by telephone at 828-697-4970.