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Spokane County vote counting is running smoothly

Many government offices are closed for the Veterans Day holiday, but in Spokane County, it’s a regular work day for the people counting thousands of ballots cast in this week’s election.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton says the tabulation process has been smooth so far. No major hiccups have cropped up. And there are plenty of eyes watching that process this year.

In addition to Dalton’s full- and part-time staff of about 140 workers, 212 people were appointed by political parties and campaigns to watch the process. They’re called “public observers,” and 212 is the highest number seen in any recent election.

Dalton says she hopes that those observers see that there’s nothing improper with the tabulation and share that with their friends and political contacts. But she also says she’s under no impression that election denial will suddenly evaporate.

“We’ve had people who have been observing the process for almost twenty years who are still absolutely convinced that there has to be something wrong, that they just haven’t found it yet,” Dalton said. “So I’m being realistic. I think many observers, when they watch it, they’ll understand that this is a good system. But there will always be people who will never be convinced.”

More than 190,000 ballots had been counted as of Thursday evening. The auditor’s office estimated there are still about 28,000 left to go, with a few more still expected to arrive by mail.

Brandon Hollingsworth is your All Things Considered host. He has served public radio audiences for nearly twenty years, primarily in reporting, hosting and interviewing. His previous ports-of-call were WUOT-FM in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Alabama Public Radio. His work has been heard nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here and Now and NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscasts.