COMMENTARY: Counties are ready for a safe, secure election

Oct 24th, 2020 | By | Category: News

As the election approaches, we have been hearing from voters who are anxious or concerned about the upcoming election. As your local county election officials, we want you to know what you can do to ensure that you are registered, receive your ballot, return your ballot, and be certain your ballot is counted.

In Washington, we have been voting by mail for more than 15 years. We are confident that our vote-by-mail system is safe, timely and secure. We are committed to making sure that your voices are heard. We are ready for the Nov. 3 general election — are you?

Prepare now and make a vote plan. If you are registered, you do not need to call us for a ballot. The deadline to register online is Oct. 26. After that, you must register in person.

Think ahead about how you’ll return your ballot. No postage is needed, whether you return your voted ballot through the mail or use one of the hundreds of ballot drop boxes located throughout the region.

For most voters, there is no need to vote in person. Keep yourself, your neighbors and your election workers safe by returning your ballot by mail or by dropping your ballot in a secure ballot drop box.

Don’t delay. Whether you return your ballot by mail or through a ballot drop box, don’t wait until Nov. 3. Vote early to give yourself time to track your ballot and ensure it was counted, to avoid the last-minute crowds at ballot drop boxes and certainly to avoid lines on Election Day.

If you vote early, you will have plenty of time to fix any issues that might arise with your ballot, like updating your signature if necessary. An early vote also ensures that your votes are counted in election-night results. There is no reason to wait — get your ballot, fill it out, get it back to us.

Your vote is secure. Voting by mail is secure. Our state has layers of physical and cyber security measures in place to protect your vote and our elections. We work tirelessly during every election to ensure a safe and secure voting process.

We cannot ignore that there is a lot of misinformation circulating about voter fraud. In Washington, voter fraud rates are incredibly low, and attempts at fraud are few and far between. We are all proud of our respective counties’ security measures and the multiple processes in place to prevent voter fraud in our vote-by-mail environment.

We’re here for you. If you need assistance, your county elections office is ready to help. Don’t hesitate to call your county elections office. We can likely assist you without your having to make a trip to the elections office or a vote center, especially if you make sure you’re already registered.

Fifteen years of voting by mail has prepared us well for this election. We have a strong partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, we’ve installed hundreds of ballot drop boxes throughout our respective counties, and we’ve prepared and planned for this election for years. Your county election officials are committed to a safe and secure election. All you need to do is vote.

 

This article is reprinted from Crosscut.com, a non-profit news site based in Seattle. The article’s writers are their counties’ top election officials. Julie Wise is the King County director of elections, Julie Anderson is the Pierce County auditor, Mary Hall is the Thurston County auditor, Garth Fell is the Snohomish County auditor, and Paul Andrews is the Kitsap County auditor.

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