PHOTO: John Brake, left and Tony Clifford, right, machine technicians for the Williamson County Election Commission, inspect machines on Thursday, July 12, 2018 the day before the early voting period begins./Brooke Wanser
By BROOKE WANSER
On Thursday afternoon, two technicians waited inside the Williamson County Election Commission for candidates and media representatives who wanted a sneak peek at the ballot and to see how they tune the machines.
After a career with the Franklin Police, Tony Clifford has been working in Williamson County election machines for 14 years.
John Brake, a Realtor, said he has been serving as a voter technician for two years.
The men were appointed by the five-member election commission board, one to represent each party.
“Whoever has the majority in the state House has the majority in the election commission,” Brake explained, noting Republican commissioners appoint one technician, while Democratic commissioners appoint the other.
Brake said there is no requirement to be a member of that party to be the technician representative, though he previously served as the chairman of the Williamson County Democrats. Clifford is the Republican appointee.
A state rule enacted in 1985 requires politicians and media be allowed to observe voting machine inspections prior to the race.
Clifford said sometime first-time candidates come to the inspections “to see their name on the ballot,” but said no one else had been in during the time frame made available.
Check out the video below to see what technicians look at to ensure machine accuracy.
Early voting begins Friday, July 13, and continues through July 28. The primary election day is August 2. For more information, visit the Williamson County Election Commission website.