Douglas puts 2020 General Election to bed

The 2020 General Election is officially over as far as Douglas County is concerned.

County commissioners voted 4-0 to canvass the election.

“We owe all of you and thank you,” Commission Chairman Barry Penzel told Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis. “You formed a team out of disparate people, conducted the mission and did a good job for the voters in Douglas County. We had a clean and good and fair election and that’s all we can ask for.”

Lewis fielded questions about the security of voting machines.

She and Election Administrator Dena Dawson assured commissioners that the machines are secure from tampering, either digitally or physically.

Douglas County has used the Dominion voting system since 2002.

She said the machines are first inspected and then sealed. The vendor doesn’t have access to the machines, she said.

They are secure in a locked room that is only accessible by three people and it’s is locked with smart keys.

“When we test them we seal them and write down the seal numbers,” she said. “We check the seals to make sure they are the same as when we put them on. Your suspicions are appropriate. The machines are not accessible to the vendor or our tech services.”

In addition to the digital ballots, votes are recorded on paper where they can be seen by the voter and recounted if necessary.”

She said that results are tallied at the county level and sent to the Secretary of State’s Office.

“We take very seriously the physical security of the machines.”

Lewis said a historic number of voters cast a ballot in the 2020 General Election.

She said 34,163 residents voted, with 19,862 using the ballots that were mailed out on Sept. 24. In-person early voting attracted 10,658 ballots, while 3,643 turned out on Election Day to cast a ballot. She said there were a half-dozen presidential only ballots processed and two confidential address program votes.

There were 455 provisional ballots issued and counted.

Douglas wound up with the third highest turnout in the state at 87.78 percent with 34,163 out of 38,917 active voters casting a ballot.

Humboldt County had the highest turnout with 88.75 percent of its 8,773 active voters. Eureka County came in second with 88.2 percent of its 1,153 active voters. Both counties added to their vote totals in the past week to surpass Douglas in total turnout.


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