The airwaves, news stories and social media are swirling with growing data and information concerning Dominion voting systems, concerning the Presidential election, and others as well.

We won't re-hash the dozens of incidents, examples and growing accusations, but will address voting in Franklin County.

You've probably seen many people claiming Dominion Voting systems are used throughout Washington state.  Actually, that is false.  It is only utilized in Franklin County, and here's the lowdown from Auditor Matt Beaton. We spoke with him at length on Tuesday, November 17th.

Franklin, and Benton Counties voting systems generate a paper copy or ballot,  if you vote in person 'electronically.'  Both Benton and Franklin offered in person voting, but even if done so, it generates a paper ballot which is examined by the voter prior to submitting. This was done at the election centers in Kennewick and Pasco.

If you did NOT vote in person, when you ballot is dropped off or mailed to county in our vote by mail system, in B-F counties, it is digitally scanned. The machine makes a digital copy of the ballot, but the paper ballot is still retained. Beaton said the important thing to remember is, paper always proceeds digital.   Then, like in Benton, the digital information is stored on secure system, then starting at 8PM on election night, it's transmitted to the Secretary of State. The county retains the paper ballots.

  In fact, Beaton said if all the digital systems ever crashed (God forbid!) the county could still provide complete election results, they would have to count them by hand. But they still could. These would also be available if needed for recounts or disputed elections.

As for Dominion, Beaton said Franklin uses their tabulation (counting) system, but it is on a closed circuit. In fact, it's located in it's own room, and it's locked inside an actual cage. Workers must use card swipe access and those are recorded with each entry or exit. Beaton says even if somebody wanted to 'hack' into their Dominion machine, you could not because it's not attached to the internet. It is also monitored, as is the rest of the election center, by multiple digital cameras.

Once Dominion counts and tabulates results, they are transferred without using the internet to another system where they are uploaded to the state.

As for backround, Beaton says the county used Sequoia Systems for years, but that company was bought by Dominion. When the county's Sequoia system became obsolete it was obviously replaced by Dominion. Beaton says the county had a tremendous amount of success with Sequoia, and so far using just Dominion's tabulation system since 2017, it's worked just fine.

Beaton also said once the results are tabulated and sent to the Secretary of State, the county compares each state update vs. what they have sent to make sure the totals are accurate.

Benton and Franklin Counties do not utilize 'digital' voting like the allegations elsewhere in MI, WI, GA, PA and other states where allegations of votes being switched, computer glitches, or hacking or fraud are being investigated.

It appears these states perhaps are NOT generating a paper ballot, or digitally scanning them without a "paper trail" in their processes.

Beaton says he is watching this Dominion situation very carefully, and is absolutely committed to safe, secure voting, as is Benton County as well. He said Dominion offers a wide variety of voting products, some states use more of their tools than others. It's not just 'one' machine, more of a system.

By the way, Franklin County returned margins of 60-39 percent in favor of Culp over Inslee, and 55 to 41 percent in favor of Trump over Biden.

As for claims of widespread WA state voter fraud, per accusations from Culp's campaign manager, it does not seem to center around digital or voting systems, but more about suspect registrations, ineligible people voting, people from possibly out of state, and perhaps dead voters casting ballots.

Next week we're hoping to take a quick tour of the Franklin County elections center so we can see things for ourselves.