Election security is a concern in many places in America right now.
It isn’t in Walla Walla, nor should it be.
Walla Walla County Auditor Karen Martin, who oversees the county’s election system, knows what she is doing. And, so too, does David Valiant, the county election supervisor who directly oversees the ballot mailing and counting.
Martin, Valiant and the Elections Office employees have a history of being meticulous in making certain every state and federal regulation is followed exactly.
In addition, Martin has made certain Walla Walla County stays current with election technology and information.
Her office recently made some changes and upgrades in preparing for this year’s elections, including the Aug. 4 primary (in which voting is now underway).
The upgrades were funded by some of the $295,744 in grants from the national coronavirus relief funds, which includes Help America Vote Act funds. This money was “made available to states to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus for the 2020 federal election cycle,” according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission website.
For example, Security cameras were purchased that will allow video of local election processing, which will be kept for 60 days for most elections and 22 months for federal elections. It’s the law, and it seems wise given the concerns about elections, whether real or imagined.
In addition, Martin, a Republican, is moving the county’s election processing office from the Environmental Health Department building off Poplar Street to room 203 of the County Courthouse, the former office of the commissioners. This brings the entire Auditor’s Office together in the Courthouse, which makes good sense for efficiency.
Martin and her office are also in sync with the careful and steady approach taken by Washington’s Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office oversees the state election process.
Wyman, a Republican, has always put voters first and does not insert partisan politics — as is also the case with Martin — into her decisions.
As a result, we strongly believe voting in Walla Walla County can be trusted.