Voter fraud claims continue to surface

Rumors of voter fraud in Clark County following the Aug. 2 midterm primary election continue to surface on social media. The allegations stem from a video posted on TikTok showing an election worker standing next to one of the county’s 22 ballot drop boxes shortly before the end of the election day. In the video, the worker had voters place their ballots in a blue bag rather than dropping them in the drop box. Two additional people can be seen in the video near the drop box, one wearing an orange vest and another with an ID badge.

When asked by the person who posted the video why the ballots couldn’t be put in the drop box, the election worker explained the drop boxes are required to be closed by 8 p.m. and it takes roughly 25 minutes to gather the ballots in the drop boxes.

The video was first posted to TikTok on Aug. 2 by user “genevareclaimed” with the caption, ““Who thinks after 2022 this is ok? closing the ballot box 30 mins prior to elections closing and collecting ballots into an open bag?!?”

Later in the video, the election worker is heard telling voters they can still put their ballots in the drop box if they choose to.

The TikTok video has received over 130,000 likes and thousands of comments, some claiming the video showed voter fraud or illegal actions by election workers. A Florida radio DJ and others reposted the video on Twitter, which has now been viewed over 2.6 million times.

However, officials from the Clark County Elections office said the video shows a standard procedure that takes place 30 minutes before the 8 p.m. deadline on each election day. According to the county, voters always have the option of placing their ballots in the drop box or the collection bag when workers .

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said having workers collect ballots during the 30 minutes prior to the 8 p.m. cutoff helps ensure voters can get their ballots in on time.

“Part of what we do is, if there is a line of cars prior to 8 p.m., is ask people who are in line if they would like to give their ballot to the Clark County Elections office employee, who will then put it into the drop box. That process dramatically reduces the amount of time people have to wait in line, reduces the length of the line that might otherwise occur at 8 p.m.,” he said. “That is something we’ve done for many, many years.”

Kimsey noted there are elections observers monitoring the entire elections process, including at ballot drop boxes.

“For the past year and a half or so, we’ve had observers from the political parties. They’ve been provided a schedule of when we are retrieving ballots from ballot drop boxes including election night,” he said.

Kimsey said Clark County does a good job keeping ballots secure, as required by law.

“When they’re removed from the drop boxes, they are placed in a container that has a security tag on it with a serial number. Even when the ballot drop boxes are opened, there’s security tag on the drop box as well as a lock,” he said.

Once the ballots are removed from the drop box and placed in a secured container, one copy of the record is placed in the container and another copy is taken to the counting center where the seals are verified by the county auditor or designated representative.

Under Washington state law, the county auditor is required to prevent ballot drop boxes from overflowing and ballots must be removed by at least two people with “a record kept of the date and time ballots were removed, and the names of people removing them.” Ballots must also be returned to the counting center in secured transport containers with one copy of the record placed in the container and one copy transported with the ballots to the counting center.

Along with ballot drop boxes closing at 8 p.m. on election day, the law requires a minimum of one ballot drop box per 15,000 registered voters in the county and a minimum of one ballot drop box in each city or town with a post office.

— Shari Phiel

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