WA election officials say system is secure

VIDEO: Election officials say they've hardened security to make sure your vote is safely counted

With early voters casting their ballots in record numbers, top election officials statewide say your vote is safe.

It’s the message coming from Clark County.

“We’re very sensitive to the security issues and feel really confident in what we’ve done in protecting people’s right to cast their ballot,” said Clark County auditor Greg Kimsey.

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County auditors want to keep COVID from delaying the count.

In Stevens County, that means separating staffers into teams.

“The idea is that if one team ends up with a positive COVID-19 case and has to isolate and quarantine, I have two or even three backup teams that can continue on,” said Lori Larsen, Stevens County auditor.

The machines that count the votes are not connected to the internet.

And security agents keep a close watch on the online voter registration system, which is connected to the internet.

“So, when they start seeing, for example, an IP address out of Iran, that’s hitting every election office in the country. They can, they can let us know that they can let us know what we need to block, what we need to be watching for,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

The ballot boxes are as tough as an armored car. One in Mill Creek kept the ballots inside safe even after a semitruck accidentally knocked it off its foundation.

Benton County keeps a close watch.

Benton County auditor Brenda Chilton said, “We have developed a rapid response plan and any one of our ballot boxes, in particular, we can get to within minutes and have a team of our staff out to check and see what the problem is.”

Snohomish County has joined the others in putting law enforcement on the alert.

“We’ve been working locally with our local law enforcement, just to make sure that they’re aware of where our Drop boxes are,” said Snohomish County auditor Garth Fell.

“What is first and foremost for all of us is protect the voters, protect our workers and protect the voting system itself,” said Wyman.