As Texans continue to raise concerns about election security, an unprecedented number of citizens attended Friday’s public testing of Collin County’s voting system equipment.

“Usually no one comes,” Collin County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet told Texas Scorecard.

Public testing of voting systems is a safeguard built into state election law.

All electronic voting machines in Texas are publicly tested for logic and accuracy three times during each election—twice before the election, and once immediately after.

Test ballots are voted on the machines, then the voted ballots are tabulated by hand tally and machine count to ensure the results are identical.

“From end to end, we verify the accuracy of the voting system,” Sherbet told the crowd of about two dozen, which included representatives of both political parties.

Friday’s big turnout was by design.

Sherbet issued a press release not only encouraging the public to observe the testing as allowed by law, but also inviting them to participate in the process by casting test ballots.

“Our end goal is to give you a hands-on experience of our testing,” Sherbet said.

Promoting public confidence through transparency has become a top priority of Texas election officials since 2020.

Transparent processes were the primary focus of last year’s state election law conference.

Texas Secretary of State John Scott, the state’s chief election official, has also emphasized transparency since he was appointed to the office last October.

In an educational series about election administration called “SOS 101,” Scott explains how voting systems are selected and secured and shows video of the public logic and accuracy testing process.

With local interest in election security at an all-time high, Sherbet went above and beyond to engage the public.

“The ultimate goal is to educate, be transparent, and build confidence in the election process,” Sherbet said.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.