TEXAS - There was a lot of activity Monday morning in the Hays County Election's Ballot Board Room. The online video feed was live. It's one of many from sites across Texas.
With the general election just hours away, FOX 7 asked voters if they plan to tune in.
"I'd like to know its safe and make sure everybody is being held accountable for it," said Williamson County voter Jonathan Peel.
No one said the cameras will give them 100% confidence, but several said the system can serve a purpose.
"Just so we know it's accurate, nobody is coming back [with] it's false," said a Cedar Park resident.
The online cameras are required in counties with populations of a 100,000 or more. State lawmakers passed this camera rule as part of SB 1. The legislation, pushed by Republicans, came during a combative Regular and Special Session. The law requires live feeds during key parts of the ballot process.
Scott Flom, who manages the program in Travis County, said they have six video streams.
"Because you have to be able to show the past of the ballots take when they come into the building. So the processing of the ballots and the sticks that have the votes from the base is out in the field. You have to be able to show, so somebody can follow that through back to where they're stored," said Flom.
The controversial vote count in the presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump prompted calls for better ballot transparency.
The Texas legislation also calls for voting machines to pass new security checks, according to Williamson County Elections Administrator Chris Davis.
"SB 1 required that we now do hash code validation on the machines that we use in our elections and, of course, sample machines that we use in our testing event," said Davis.
That test provides specific protection.
"It protects against bad actors that would go. And if they somehow made their way into our veritable fortress of an office and change the software or the firmware and our machines, it proves up that that hasn't happened. That it matches the software that has been certified both by the federal and state government and that our vendors have given to us," said Davis.
The cost of this new state mandated security upgrade is being paid for by each county. That includes storing the online video. It must be made available for at least a year.
Live stream cameras:
Audio is not required as part of the live stream video recording.
SB 1 Online Cameras:
SEC. 127.1232. Security Of Voted Ballots.
- The general custodian of election records in a county with a population of 100,000 or more shall implement a video surveillance system that retains a record of all areas containing voted ballots: From the time the voted ballots are delivered to the central counting station until the canvass of precinct election returns From the time the voted ballots are delivered to the signature verification committee or early voting ballot board until the canvass of precinct election returns.
- From the time the voted ballots are delivered to the central counting station until the canvass of precinct election returns
- From the time the voted ballots are delivered to the signature verification committee or early voting ballot board until the canvass of precinct election returns.
- A video from a system implemented under Subsection (b) shall be made available to the public by a live stream.
- The video recorded is an election record under Section 1.012 and shall be retained by the general custodian of election records until the end of the calendar year in which an election is held or until an election contest filed in the county has been resolved, whichever is later.