Guidelines prevent voter fraud in Lansing

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A sign outside of the polling location for the 1-09 Precinct.

The City of Lansing provided all precincts with guidelines and checkoff sheets for every step of the voting process in order to ensure the integrity of the process, said Robbin Bell, chair of precincts five and 45.

“We always were meticulous,” Bell said. “Because of this, we haven’t felt the need to change how we go about things.”

The checkoff sheets list what job each worker is doing, what they have to do and how to do it.

The Foster Community Center where Chair Robbin Bell ran her voting station.

 

“You really have to go through the checklists,” Bell said. “Even when it comes to setting up the machines you have to go step by step or you could miss a very critical part and mess up the entire process.”

Bell said the system is simple and ensures that everything is connected in the start.

When voters walk in, there is a greeting table with information about the specific precinct and a map of the Lansing area with all precincts to ensure that people are showing up to the right areas. Information is also sent out to residents ahead of time regarding voting rules, locations and what makes a valid acceptable vote.

“We set the foundation from the beginning, and then we do follow-ups,” she said.

Every hour, those working the voting station count up all their papers and make sure that their numbers match. If something is unusual, there is a sheet where comments are written down. Everything is documented so that any issues can be revisited later.

“Each year has gotten better and better,” Bell said. “We use a lot of checks and balances and continuously cross-reference to ensure that everything is correct. There is absolutely no way to short cut.”

Workers take time to stamp and organize files when its slower in order to prepare for busier hours where mistakes are more likely to occur.

“From what I experienced, I don’t think it’s an issue,” said a voter who asked to remain anonymous. “They ask you for your ID or voter’s registration card so they know it’s you.”

He said voting booths are already strict and there is no need to increase security.

Signs prohibiting advertising, endorsing a candidate, cameras, and recording were posted outside of each polling location to further maximize privacy for the voters.

 

“People are making a bigger issue out of it than there really is,” he said.

A source who asked to be identified only as Charlie said he is concerned about voter security.  

“In the last election we had government officials claim that people voted twice and then it turns out they lied,” Charlie said.

Bell said Lansing is minimizing voter fraud by being meticulous and constantly following-up with workers.

“Follow the lists, have enough staff, and you’re doing good,” Bell said.