Learn About Election Security

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We work hard to make sure your vote is safe and secure before, during and after an election. Elections processes are fair and transparent. You can observe ballot processing and audits in person at the Pierce County Election Center in Tacoma. 
  1. Before an Election
  2. During an Election
  3. After an Election
Testing & Certification of Voting Systems
Counties choose their own voting systems, but they must be certified by an independent testing authority and the State of Washington. These tests include security reviews as a part of their overall testing efforts. Voting systems are on an air-gapped network. That means the network cannot connect to the internet and is incapable of wireless communication. 
County Review 
The Office of the Secretary of State reviews each county periodically to make sure all election laws and rules are being properly followed. After this performance audit the county receives a report of needed changes and a follow-up visit to make sure the corrections were made.
Certification of Election Administrators  
Elections in Washington are run by Certified Election Administrators. To become certified, elections staff must attend a two-day Elections 101 class, get another 40 hours of work-related education, and pass an exam that tests their knowledge of election laws and procedures. They must also work in elections for two years to gain relevant experience before they are certified.
Pre-election Audit: Logic & Accuracy Test 
Before every election, counties test their voting systems to make sure the machines are correctly set up and accurately counting votes. Election officials scan a stack of ballots with a known outcome to make sure the voting system reports the same answer.
Voter Registration Database (VRDB) 
Washington’s statewide voter registration database is constantly maintained and updated as voters become registered, move, change their name, die, or are no longer eligible to vote. All active voters are automatically mailed ballots. Only one ballot per voter is accepted.

VRDB Information More information about the VRDB.

VRDB FAQ Answers to commonly asked questions about the VRDB.

Ballot Flow Chart