Wyman asks students to vote more

By Colin Phan - Staff Reporter

Washington's top elections official encourages people to come out and vote in this fall's election.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman was recently re-elected for a second term. Wyman spoke to students at Highline on Sept. 26 about the upcoming elections.

The upcoming elections include: city council, mayors, school boards, utility districts, and tax measures. The last day to register to vote is on Oct. 9, and the last day to cast ballots is Nov. 7.

Highline will be holding a voter registration drive on Oct. 9 on the second floor of the student union, for students to register to vote. 

Wyman said that people shouldn't be hesitant to vote due to things such as voter fraud. Wyman assured listeners that voter fraud is virtually non existent, saying that there was only a small percentage in Washington during the past presidential election. 

"We don't have a problem with illegal voting in our state and I believe that to my core," Wyman said. "Seventy four people in Washington voted illegally which is 0.002 percent." 

However, voting fraud isn't the only that is scaring away voters, so is the Russian hacking scandal, Wyman said.

"The Russians tried to hack the electoral systems in the 21 states." Wyman said. "They were looking for something in code, trying to get in the backdoor. This is the first time we've seen this coordinated of an attack for elections."

Wyman had been working with the FBI and Homeland Security for a while trying to solve the hacking scandal, but was only informed about it in detail recently, she said. 

"We started working with Homeland Security and the FBI in about July of 2016," Wyman said. "I didn't hear anything since a hearing in June. I only heard back recently."

The voting systems are safe, Wyman said, pointing out that the tabulations systems are heavily protected.

The tabulation systems are in fact, actually not connected to the internet, and the results are exported via a fresh flash drive and then uploaded to the internet, Wyman said. 

With voter fraud being proven to be a miniscule problem, Wyman says that people should vote in order to focus on the real problems at hand.

"Roads, schools, parking, all of these things are affected by our local elections," Wyman said. "It's easy to believe your vote doesn't count, but it's never counted more."

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