RENTON -- Donald Trump's repeated claims that the election is "rigged" has brought new attention to a part of the vote counting process that helps ensure a fair system.
Election observers from both parties are watching county officials open ballots, carefully scrutinizing their actions, and looking for any missteps.
King County will have more than 180 registered election observers from both major parties. Close to 60 people went through the required orientation and training Saturday.
“I like the idea of being part of the process, of actually looking at the ballots as they go through, and seeing that everything is done appropriately,” said Libby Sinclair, a recently retired social studies teacher, who is observing an election for the first time.
Observers must follow a set of rules. Four per major party are allowed on the floor of the elections facility at any time. They are not allowed to have political conversations while in the presence of elections workers. The observers are prohibited from touching ballots or equipment.
If they have any concerns about what they're seeing, they should notify elections staff, who will investigate further.
A Republican observer, who did not want to give her name, said she had a deep mistrust of the ballot counting process and felt it was her duty to watch over elections workers. She expressed doubts about how carefully ballots are handled and wondered if Republican votes would be properly counted in a predominantly Democratic county.
This article outlines how King Co. counts ballots and maintains tight security at its headquarters.