Local election officials combat election doubts as millions of ballots mailed out

With the highest level of government in the country sowing doubt on the upcoming election, local election officials are working overtime to sow confidence.

“We know the truth here in King County, that vote by mail is safe, it’s accessible and it’s a secure way to vote,” said King County Elections Director Julie Wise.

Washington state is well oiled in the ways of vote by mail and election officials are now bracing for record turnout for the 2020 Election, now less than three weeks away. 

On Wednesday, King County sent out nearly 1.4 million ballots and is anticipating record voter turnout, encouraging voters to reach 90 percent participation. 

“Our message to you is this: Vote, vote early and have confidence that your vote will be counted accurately,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. 

This year, voters in King County can track every step of their ballot’s journey, from mailed to counted, on the county election’s website. They can even watch workers process ballots live in the secure voting center through web cams online.

“We are doing everything we can here in King County to keep our elections both secure and accessible,” Wise said. 

Officials say doubts over the U.S. Postal Service are cleared up and despite the president’s comments that mail-in ballots are rife with fraud, the secretary of state says transparency and experience will prevail in Washington.

“We have a very secure system that voters have come to trust and it’s transparent and it’s really a model for the rest of the country,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

While across the country, states are seeing long lines of people waiting hours to cast their votes, in Washington, it’s as swift as dropping a ballot in a box. 

Ballot drop boxes are opening this week and election officials recommend returning ballots early, as lines outside drop boxes are expected on Election Day. 

Eligible voters have until Oct. 26 to register to vote online or in the mail. People can register to vote in person as late as Election Day, Nov. 3, and can return ballots through Election Day at 8 p.m. 

Statewide, voters can track ballot status on votewa.gov.