Two Cochise County Supervisors are facing charges for election interference, leaving some voters questioning the process and use of electronic voting machines. The county is responding to concerns by educating residents on how the machines work, and the security measures in place with presentations by ES&S, the company that makes them.

Our vote is our voice, Cochise County resident Josephine Mabe said. I wanted to know for myself the security process they go through.

Wednesday morning’s presentation provided explanations and demonstrations on the types of machines voters use in the county. Some of the attendees wanted to learn about the machines after the concerns stemming from the county Board of Supervisors’ initial refusal to certify the 2022 election resultseventually leading to a judge-ordered certification of votes.

I think its really important going into the 2024 election that the public gets a chance to see what the facts are, what the real situation is with the voting machine, Elisabeth Tyndell, chair of the Cochise County Democrats, said.

Members from ES&S explained that the technology doesn’t store any information, but rather uses coding to count the selections. They also spent time going over how the machines are secure from hackers and outsiders trying to alter the results or the machines. A lot of the audience questions focused on the security of the machines and how they prevent tampering. Senior Security Officer for ES&S, Chris Wlaschin, told the packed audience that the machines are frequently tested to ensure they are secure. If flaws are found he says they are address in software or hardware updates.

If I thought for a minute that I thought ES&S was doing something wrong in terms of security,” Wlaschin said. “Id call the attorney general myself. I have too much risk coming up here and not telling you the truth.

Janet Jacobson is new to southern Arizona. She wanted to see how the voting process works in her new home, after see all the confusion in 2022.

I just moved here from Wisconsin, a very small town in Wisconsin, where they hand you a pencil when you go in,” Jacobson said. “I wanted to know how they did it here and what the machines were.

Attendees had the opportunity to touch and use the machines to help understand how they work. Mabe and Jacobson agreed that coming to the presentation helped answer their questions and helps them trust the process a bit more.

ES&S and the county will host a second presentation at 6 p.m. at the Student Union on Cochise College’s Sierra Vista Campus.