Volunteer elections observers keep close tabs on process - KPTV - FOX 12

Volunteer elections observers keep close tabs on process

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CLARK COUNTY, WA (KPTV) -

In a contentious election year, local political parties are doing everything they can to make sure each vote is properly counted.

At the Clark County Elections Office, for instance, dozens of volunteer elections observers carefully watch over elections workers, who meticulously open and inspect each ballot by hand, before it's sorted by a machine. 

Workers also compare voter signatures with signatures on record for them.

When observers see or sense an irregularity in the process, they notify an elections supervisor.

"The other day, for instance, a guy said they're going through those signatures so fast, I don't see how they could really compare them," said Kenny Smith, chairman of the Clark County Republican Party.

Although there have been allegations by candidates nationally of voter fraud and problems with the election process, Smith said he doesn't believe there is a problem in Clark County.

"This process seems really well organized and really well managed to me. They have safeguards they're not even required to have," said Smith.

Karen Hengerer, who represents the Clark County Democratic Party as an elections observer, is similarly confident in the process at the local level.

"You begin to get a real comfort level with how complex this process is and how many points of protection of the vote that there are," said Hengerer.

As of Friday, elections workers had inspected more than 115,000 ballots.

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