GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Election commissioners across the country are taking great care to ensure a completely fair vote for November's presidential election, and other upcoming races. Two training seminars took place Tuesday for poll workers in Gulfport.
Volunteer Phyllis Seal listened carefully as an election commissioner went through specific rules that must be followed on Election Day. This will be Seal's third year volunteering at the polls, doing something she feels is her civic duty.
"For one thing, I think voting is a privilege," Seal said. "My family, a lot of them were military and they fought for the right to be able to vote, and it's just something I think we all should not squander."
Becky Payne is the election commissioner for District 2 in Harrison County. She and her team of polling place volunteers are focused on eliminating any margin for error in the upcoming election.
"It's important that every poll worker gets the training on the new machines," Payne explained. "Their training certificates usually last a year, but because we have new machines, everybody has to be trained."
Although Donald Trump is claiming elections in the United States are rigged, studies show there's no evidence to support that claim. According to a study done by Loyola Law School, there were only 31 instances involving allegations of voter impersonation out of 1 billion votes cast in U.S. elections between 2000 and 2014.
Another study by New York University found past reports of people voting twice or ballots being cast for dead people were a result of clerical errors, not a rigged election.
However, a non-partisan, non-profit institute that conducted a study for The Pew Center on the States found approximately 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state and 24 million, or one in eight, voter registrations are inaccurate due to deaths or voters moving.
That study suggested that states move to modern technology to boost accuracy and reduce costs.
Commissioner Payne said that's exactly what Harrison County's new voting machines will help to do: streamline the voting process to ensure a successful and fair election.
"We just train so that we can prevent as many unnecessary mistakes as possible," Payne said.