- Editor’s note: Your vote matters!
- I reached-out to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office with the following voting security questions below.
- Click here for Thurston County Elections information.
- My sincere thanks and appreciation to the fine staff of the Auditor’s Office for all they do to ensure our votes are properly counted:
1. How does Thurston County coordinate to protect voting in conjunction with Homeland Security, the FBI, and other agencies?
We meet regularly with federal, state and non-profit partners to learn more about trends in misinformation campaigns.
We report misinformation to our partners so it can be escalated for labeling and possible take-down.
2. Can you provide updates about potential threats and/or how constituents can report such if they hear of any?
If you see anything at all, email us as soon as possible. You can directly report mis or disinformation to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The specific categories we’re most worried about are messages that misinform voters about voting dates and procedures and anything that undermines faith in elections.
3. How is the County going to handle “poll watchers” who show up with weapons [at ballot prepossessing centers]? Is there a plan with law enforcement?
We are working with local law enforcement agencies to ensure our voting infrastructure is protected. We have been meeting with our local partners for months to share updates and coordinate efforts.
4. What measures are in place to protect against my ballot being suspended by someone else through VoteWA?
- We have measures in place to ensure the balloted matches the voter. If it was “suspended” it really means that it will be held for 7 days and then counted.
- Only one ballot will be counted per registered voter.
- Counties will process all ballots received, once the signature is verified on the envelope.
- Once a returned ballot is received by county election offices, the signature on the return envelope is checked against the signature on file in the voter’s registration record.
- If the signature matches, the voter receives credit for voting and the ballot is prepared for tabulation to take place at 8 p.m. on election night. Once a ballot has been accepted, no other ballot can be accepted or printed for that voter.
- If the signature does not match, the county elections office will contact the voter to cure their signature. If the voter reports they have not returned their ballot, information will be turned over to county sheriffs and prosecutors to be investigated. A new ballot will be issued to the voter if it’s before election day.
- This is another benefit of voting early. Voting early reduces the unlikely chance that someone would print a replacement ballot using your name.
- At any step along the way, a voter can verify their ballot status on VoteWA.gov
- If another ballot is requested the first ballot is put on hold. If the second ballot isn’t received the first ballot is counted.
- The state and county elections offices have instituted multiple levels of security over the entire vote-by-mail process, including both electronic and manual measures to maintain the integrity of the election.
- Activity on the online portal is monitored 24/7 to detect and prevent unusual activity, and manual backend processes protect against fraudulent attempts.
- Voter fraud is a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.
5. Why is it possible to access voter records with only a birth-date and name?
- Not every registered voter has a driver’s license or state ID card.
- A driver’s license or state ID card is required to register to vote online. They are also necessary to change a voter record.
- However, once registered, we want all voters to be able to access their records and receive voter services via VoteWA public portal. Therefore, driver’s license or state ID card is not required to access your voter record.