Well over 500 election law and rule changes have been made since 2004. These changes include:
Washington employs the recommendations raised by security experts, and have done so for years, such as paper-based systems, including voter verifiable paper audit trails; independent testing; pre- and post-election audits; and physical security of tabulation equipment. The VoteWA system is secured by highly skilled Office of the Secretary of State IT staff and Security Operations Center, using state of the art equipment and following IT industry best practices. We have embarked on an unprecedented opportunity to work collaboratively with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that our election systems remain secure. This partnership allows us to work together, elections and IT experts, working hand in hand to ensure our systems are secure.
Visit the Washington Secretary of State for more about election system security.
Washington employs the recommendations raised by security experts, and have done so for years, such as paper based-systems, including voter verifiable paper audit trails; independent testing; pre- and post-election audits; and physical security of tabulation equipment. Before a tabulation system can be used in Washington, we require testing at a federally approved independent testing lab. These expert testers include security reviews as a part of their overall testing efforts. Then, systems are tested here at the state level and reviewed by our own voting systems certification board, comprised of technology experts, accessibility experts, and certified county election officials. Counties must then perform acceptance testing and logic and accuracy testing prior to every election. In addition, we conduct post-election audits, where we draw precincts and races at random and compare the vote totals from the tabulator to a hand count of ballots before the election is certified.
Each voter has a single active record in the statewide voter registration database (VoteWA). When a ballot is received by the Election Division, the signature is compared to the voter’s registration and the voter’s record is marked as having returned a ballot. If the voter attempts to return an additional ballot, the system warns the election official that a ballot has already been returned. Election workers report that information to the canvassing board, who in turn reports it to the Prosecuting Attorney if further investigation is warranted.