PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — It may sound like a scene out of a blockbuster thriller—motion activated cameras, encrypted USB drives, a room virtually cut off from the internet—but that is the Red Room at Multnomah County Elections, where ballots will be counted starting on Wednesday. The only thing it is missing are the shiny green lasers.
Elections officials in Multnomah County walked FOX 12 through their different security measures Tuesday. They say all the measures in place have been there for years to protect the integrity of the election and to make sure the results can’t be tampered with.
Inside the room, there are several scanners set up that will be used to tally votes as thousands of ballots will be ran through the machines.
“We take security of the ballots and of the election very seriously,” Multnomah County Elections Director Tim Scott said. “I think it is really important that we are as transparent as possible with the process.”
The room has eight different motion activated cameras, the USB’s in every computer have been plugged and the ones that are in use have a special connector that indicates if a computer has been tampered with. WiFi has also been disabled on the computers and the network they are connected to is not connected to the outside world.
“This room that we are standing in is one of the most secure rooms in Multnomah County,” Scott said. “It’s an air-gapped network, so it is never connected to the internet and never connected to the county network, the network resides completely inside this room.”
Only certain people have access to the room, which is locked by key card.
Everything, however, can been watched and is being watched by elections observers who can view video feeds and see through the glass at everything is going on.
New this year, the county will be using encrypted and password-protected USB thumb drives. They are the only thumb drives the computers in the room will recognize with the proper code.
The first round of results are set to be released on election night sometime after 8:00pm.
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