Elections office a well-oiled machine

Published On: Nov 06 2012 04:29:37 PM PST   Updated On: Nov 06 2012 04:33:18 PM PST
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A high voter turn out demands a highly dedicated team to count all the ballots, and in Spokane County that's nearly a quarter million votes that have to be carefully handled.

At the Spokane County Elections Office, behind secured doors, a well-oiled machine roared to life as voters were up before dawn on Election Day, starting to drop off their ballots at 5:30 a.m.

"We have over a hundred and some people working today to make sure everything goes smoothly and all the people who want to vote can vote," Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said.

There's no such thing as checking too many times at the elections office. First a picture is taken of every signature and then someone compares it to the voter registry. It then goes through a machine, the envelopes are settled in bins and hand counted by staff.

"The ballot envelopes with the name will go in one direction and the security envelope with the ballots will go in another room to ensure we can't tie the ballot back to the voter." McLaughlin explained.

Each time the ballots are handled, they're counted again to make sure nothing is missing.

Finally the ballots are ready to go through the counting machine. It'll spit out numbers that could change the fate of how our cities, state and nation are run.

It's tedious work, that some have been doing for 30 years, others since the first time they voted.

"Most of them just love doing it. It's also part time work, a lot of them are retired," McLaughlin said.

The people working to make sure things run smoothly at the elections office are dedicated to making our democracy run as smoothly as possible on this historic day.