On January 31st, Dr. Knute headed up to Washington County to observe the ballot counting process for the 1st Congressional District Special Election. He met with Rich Hobernict, Washington County Clerk, and Mickie Kawai, Washington County Elections Division Manager to discuss the processes. Fully understanding the ballot counting process is extremely important to Dr. Knute as a candidate for Secretary of State. Since the SOS is head of the state election division, observing the process in person should probably be a pre-requisite to the job.
Dr. Knute spent about an hour with Rich and Mickie, touring the election division, asking questions, and getting a general outline of the vote by mail ballot counting process. Each ballot is sorted into precincts, removed by hand from the security envelope, and undergoes a signature verification process before the ballot is counted. Each signature is manually verified by a volunteer or worker at the election division Once verified, the ballot goes to be counted. In Washington County, about 50 people help with the opening, verifying and counting of ballots.
“It’s a pretty incredible process,” said Dr. Buehler, “you can read about it or hear about it from someone, but until you witness it yourself, you can’t truly understand or appreciate it. I’m grateful Mickie and Rich were willing to show me around.”