On Tuesday, I spent the morning at the Okanogan County Auditor’s office as they performed the required logic and accuracy test on the disabled voter’s polling station. It was a truly fascinating process. Next up: Friday, Sept 22 from 9:00AM to noon, we will witness the l&a test on the rest of the voting apparatus, along with an external auditor from the State of Washington Elections Bureau.
The process was amazingly labor intensive as the clerks used a ‘test deck’ pre-marked to represent every possible vote combination from every race in every district and precinct of the county. When it had all been entered into the disabled voter station, the result was taken by hand on the recording chip and entered into the tabulating machine which was used to generate a paper spreadsheet of the votes cast on a spreadsheet. That sheet was then hand checked against the copies of the original test deck to make sure that the sheet tallied exactly and in order. The ‘air gap’ between machines was created by hand carrying the tabulation from the polling station to the machine in the vault which distributed the results. Neither of these machines are in any way connected to each other, or the larger internet, so there is no chance of outside input. As long as the process is followed precisely by the clerks, the result is certain to be accurate. That is why witnesses are important. We are there to testify to the accuracy both internally (I signed the results) and externally to all of you. At the end, all the results, machine scores, disks, and papers are locked in an evidence box and placed in the vault. It is a long, tedious process. The skill, knowledge, care and integrity of the auditors is truly impressive. I learned a lot!
This process is at the very heart of our democracy and, in my opinion, is of the utmost importance. In this era of Russian hacking, voter suppression, tampering, etc. it is our duty and privilege to stand witness to the fairness of our local election processes. Check our page if you wish to participate.