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Burnet County begins midterm voting process after testing equipment

Burnet County Election Administrator Doug Ferguson

Burnet County Election Administrator Doug Ferguson begins the necessary Logic and Accuracy Test on electronic voting equipment before the county can begin the 2022 midterm election voting process. With a successful test completed, the first batch of mail-in ballots will be sent out on Friday, Sept. 23. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

The first round of absentee ballots for Burnet County voters are expected to go in the mail Friday, Sept. 23, now that the Election Division has successfully completed a Logic and Accuracy Test on electronic voting equipment. 

Burnet County Election Administrator Doug Ferguson conducted the three-hour test Monday, Sept. 19, at Election Division headquarters in Burnet along with representatives from the local Democratic and Republican parties. Sandra Carruthers of Burnet represented Democrats and Karen Seaver of Burnet acted on behalf of Republicans as central count judges. 

The three used 50 sample ballots to check if the county’s election machines caught mistakes and if vocal and written instructions in both English and Spanish were correct.

“It all came out perfect with no mistakes,” Ferguson said. “Everything matched. It was a positive test, and we started mailing ballots almost immediately.”

Ferguson was referring to emailed federal postcard applications sent to military personnel living overseas. They can receive a ballot by email upon request but must print it out, vote, and return a physical copy. They cannot email their vote. 

The day after the Logic and Accuracy Test, Ferguson’s office printed out 1,341 absentee ballots for Burnet County voters. The ballots are laid out in the office to be assembled and mailed by a crew of people as early as Friday, Ferguson said.

“After that, we still have equipment set up to do,” he said, adding that training classes for poll workers and judges are Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 26-28. 

“It’s an ongoing process,” he said. “We will be busy every day until Nov. 9 (the day after Election Day).” 

The work doesn’t actually stop on Nov. 9, but “at least the pressure is off,” Ferguson said. 

IMPORTANT VOTING DATES

Burnet County has a new election page at burnetcountyelections.com. Click on Current Election at the bottom of the page for dates, sample ballots, and other information for the 2022 midterm elections. 

LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE

Tuesday, Oct. 11

LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR A BALLOT BY MAIL 

(received, not postmarked) 

Friday, Oct. 28

EARLY VOTING

Oct. 24-Nov. 4

LAST DAY FOR VOTED MAIL-IN BALLOTS TO BE RECEIVED

By end of polls closing on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls close at 7 p.m. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com

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