New security measures in place to prevent ballot tampering at South Sound facility

TUMWATER, Wash. – County elections departments across the state are already gearing up to count your ballots.

In the South Sound, one county auditor tells Q13 News about a series of security upgrades meant to make sure your vote tabulated exactly as you intended.

“We are taking every security measure we can think of to keep our elections safe and secure,” said Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall.

At the Tumwater ballot processing center, officials say everything here is designed to make sure your vote is counted properly.

“It is a challenge across the country and the major reason is funding,” said Hall.

And for the past few years, Hall says federal officials have suggested making extra efforts to safeguard her agency’s responsibilities.

“Homeland Security became a lot more involved in elections,” said Hall. “We took advantage of all of the assessments they offered.”

After the assessment, Hall says her agency made several changes.

Now, visitors no longer have immediate access directly into the processing center. They’re now met with a bank of monitors showing the entire process happening inside.

Plus, a series of upgrades dealing with securing technology meant to prevent uploading or downloading data into their systems.

“We have cameras in every corner of this facility that films everything,” said Hall.

Plus, officials are using two-factor authentication to access systems, and critical tabulating systems aren’t connected to the internet.

It’s all an effort to make sure the ballot you fill out is counted and makes a difference.

“It would be very difficult for a foreign actor to come in and hack our elections,” said Hall.