Election officials: Knox County voters don’t have to worry about hacked voting machines

Early voting begins October 19 and ends November 1

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Voting machine reliability has become a topic for both candidates and voters alike during this election season. Whether machines can be hacked or votes can be altered are just two of the many possible worst case, sometimes impossible, scenarios making headlines.

“We talk about voter fraud. What I am not worried about is somebody hacking in to the voting system here in Knox County. We’re not hooked up to the internet. It’s an entirely closed system,” said Cliff Rodgers, the Knox County Administrator of Elections.

Previous story: ‘Rigged’ or ‘hacked’ words draw questions for Tenn. election officials

Rodgers says the machines track votes in three different ways and that he cannot see a possible way for local machines to be hacked or compromised.

“I’m more concerned, for example, that we had training for several hours today and our workers push the correct button on the machine so the voter gets the right combination.”

Rodgers’ confidence is echoed by some local voters who aren’t worried about voter fraud.

Related: East Tennessee early voting locations, hours

“I voted in 2000 and so it was an issue then. Now it doesn’t make that much of a difference to me. I feel like we’ve taken enough steps to keep it under control or to monitor and make sure everything is above board,” said Nate Worthington.

“With our machines I do wish we had a paper trail. If anything ever went done it’s good to have a backup system, it’s good to have a backup,” said Kathy Burke.

And then some voters, like Lisa Gibson said, “I believe that if you do not vote then you don’t really have a right to say anything about the way things are going in this country. not only is it a right and a privilege to vote, but a responsibility.”

You must have a Tennessee or federal government photo ID or handgun permit to vote. Early voting in Tennessee begins October 19.

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