Election officials say paper ballots help keep your vote secure

RENTON, WA - Washington State Officials say using paper ballots gives a level of security to the voting process that may not be available with electronic voting.

During the 2016 election, there were concerns with outside interference and hacking. This year, there is a focus on the security of elections.

Since 2011, Washington State has used paper mail-in ballots. Something, that election officials says give Washington an edge with security over other state that use electronic voting.

“In an electronic environment, like online voting, or some sort of touch screen devices, you’re arguing over an electronic audit trail. So, you’re arguing over code and it’s just harder to convince people that it wasn’t the thousands, and millions of lines of code weren’t tampered with. As with a paper ballot, we can always go back to a physical ballot,” said Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

Wyman says it’s election officials’ duty to give confidence to the public that the results are the way the people voted. She says having a paper trail to reference for every ballot gives Washington an edge.

“Democrats and Republicans have worked really hard to balance access and security and keep that voter confidence high. And I think we’re in a position that really does lead the country,” said Wyman.

Kathleen Bryant is a King County voter. She says she feels confident that her ballot is secure when she drops it off at the election office.

"They showed on the news how this facility, the way they handle things.  There is a slim chance, I think, of cheating. Its handled really carefully in this building," she said.