Tarrant County Elections Administrator Clint Ludwig is inviting voting machine skeptics to participate in pre-primary testing of vote tabulating equipment on Thursday morning.

Regular public testing of voting systems is a safeguard built into Texas election law.

“If you believe the votes can be changed, please come try!” Ludwig said at the Grapevine Republican Club meeting Tuesday night. “I’m not aware of any way to do that.”

Tarrant is the third most populous county in Texas and is home to more registered voters than any other Republican-run county in the state.

Tarrant County hired Ludwig to head their Elections Administration office in June 2023 after the departure of Heider Garcia, who is now the elections administrator for Dallas County.

Ludwig, a Marine Corps veteran, formerly worked as the county’s chief deputy clerk for six years, overseeing technology transitions.

He administered the county’s November 2023 election with minimal issues and is now preparing for the March 5 primary.

State law requires each county elections office to conduct “logic and accuracy” testing of its vote tabulating system three times during each election—twice before the election and once immediately after.

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

The testing is open to the public, but Ludwig said he wants to offer added transparency for citizens who are skeptical of the process.

Ludwig said those who arrive early, at 8:00 a.m., will be able to participate in selecting the specific equipment and races used in the testing. Once the equipment is set up and programmed, attendees will cast the test votes that are used to verify the system’s accuracy.

He encouraged local voters who believe the equipment is vulnerable to fraud to try to “cheat” the system during the testing process.

“This isn’t an official election,” he said.

Ludwig also reviewed the processes in place for securing ballots during early voting and on Election Day.

“Your vote counts in Tarrant County,” he said. “We don’t have large-scale fraud in Tarrant County because we’ve eliminated those opportunities.”

The Texas secretary of state recommends that counties conduct their first logic and accuracy testing for the March 5 primary by January 17.

Tarrant County’s voting system testing will take place on Thursday, January 11, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Elections Facility at 2700 Premier Street in Fort Worth.

Texans can contact their county elections office for details about local logic and accuracy testing.

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.