Lewis County this week issued a news release explaining ballot security measures ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
Ballots have been sent to Lewis County’s 54,275 registered voters, according to the county.
The ballots must be postmarked and returned by mail or deposited in an official drop box by 8 p.m. Nov. 8.
Lewis County Elections Supervisor Terry Jouper said in the release that “the security of your vote in this year’s election is paramount.”
Ballot drop boxes use an exterior key lock with double deadbolt locks on the inside. Each drop box has a numbered security seal to complete the chain of custody for ballots, Jouper said.
From the time a ballot is mailed or placed in a drop box to the moment it is received at the election office, “Every step has security measures,” Lewis County Chief Deputy Auditor Tom Stanton said in the release.
To ensure balloting is transparent, secure and accurate, two election workers always pick up ballots at drop boxes, according to the county.
The ballots are stored in sealed storage bags until they are ready to be processed at the county elections office.
“Signatures on every ballot envelope are scanned and recorded digitally,” according to the news release. “Elections workers trained by the Washington State Patrol compare those signatures to voter registration records to make sure they are valid — and that no one votes twice. Secrecy envelopes containing marked ballots are opened separately from the outer signature envelopes, eliminating the possibility that a ballot can be linked to a specific voter.”
Voters can see if their ballots have been received by the Lewis County Elections Office and accepted for tabulation by checking online at www.votewa.gov.
For Lewis County election information, visit the county election center at https://elections.lewiscountywa.gov/.