Saturday, December 4, 2021
Dec. 4, 2021

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Clark County elections office counting on security

By , Columbian Innovation Editor
Published:
2 Photos
Elections office employee Josie Karling inspects ballots at the Clark County Elections Office on Tuesday morning.
Elections office employee Josie Karling inspects ballots at the Clark County Elections Office on Tuesday morning. (Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

New to the Clark County elections office this year are little cages that surround the computers and locks on USB ports. It’s the latest upgrade to an already secure ballot counting and processing system with many checks – a process that nationally has come under scrutiny since the last presidential election.

“There are lots of laws, controls and procedures to ensure that ballots are kept secure when returned to us by voters,” said Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey.

Kimsey said Tuesday that the physical layout of the auditor’s office was changed slightly this year so nine observers – Republicans, Democrats and representatives from the League of Women Voters – could get better vantage points of the tabulation process.

The auditor’s office holds observer training before every election, and the average number of attendees is around 15. For this election’s observer training, held online, Kimsey had 85 people attend, mostly from the Republican party.

Skepticism is running high this year, and more than 100 people have contacted Kimsey asking him to perform a “forensic audit” of the election. A term commonly used for financial information, a financial audit doesn’t apply to an election, but Kimsey has been individually addressing the voters’ concerns.

“The elections process is conducted using software that’s tested by federally approved laboratories,” he said.

Kimsey, a Republican, has been Clark County’s auditor since 1999.

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