CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Just in time for Tuesday’s primary, massive renovations are finishing up at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

The upgrades create more office space and add several layers of security.

“Used to be, you could just walk in the door,” said Director Michael Dickerson. “Now you can walk in the front door, but now to get into certain parts of this office, it’s all card access.”

Another part of the renovations is a new, secure tabulating room where votes will be counted Tuesday night.

“It’s behind glass, so I don’t have to worry about anybody getting too close and touching something they shouldn’t be touching,” Dickerson said.

He acknowledged that recent data breaches in the news make protecting the process more important than ever. He said the voting machines used in Mecklenburg County are never connected to the internet, making them virtually hacker-proof.

The votes are recorded on separated dries to provide backups if necessary. A paper record is registered, as well. Dickerson said all votes are tallied before the totals are finally uploaded to the state Board of Elections system.

“People vote, those are tabulated, those are reviewed, all before that touches the internet,” Dickerson explained. “All offline.”

Individual precincts are also audited at random to check for discrepancies.