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July 15, 2022

Kitsap County Elections honored by Secretary of State's Office​

PORT ORCHARD - The Kitsap County Auditor's Office-Elections Division was awarded the Washington Secretary of State's Outstanding Security Award.

"Outstanding Security is a new award that recognizes outstanding election security and integrity," said Stuart Holmes, acting director of elections for the state. "This award goes to an entire county elections department because election security is a team effort that requires all of us to work together to ensure the highest in election integrity for all voters."

All counties in Washington State have security procedures prescribed by law. Kitsap County goes above and beyond the minimum standards.  Random batch audits, ballot tracking, redundant security checks, live video streaming, dual authentication electronic monitoring, and software audit procedures, called "Hash Tag Audits," are some of the steps taken that earned this award. Many counties across Washington State are implementing security protocols that Kitsap County pioneered.

"Three years ago, we were one of the first elections departments to put in place live streaming of our ballot processing area," said Regina McRay, Kitsap County Elections Manager. "During an election, we stream a live feed of our secure ballot room right on our website. Observation is always welcome in person. We added live streaming so that people can watch the process from home, if desired."

During the award presentation, the Secretary of State's Office praised the Kitsap Election Division's work in being a great example to other offices in election security. "Kitsap County Elections' website features several videos and livestreams of election-administrative processes that promote transparency and make it easier for the public to observe elections processes. Kitsap County maintains a high level of control of its ballot-processing area, including steps that confirm the software has not been altered from its state certification," Holmes said.