U.S. ballot center aims for ‘radical transparency’

STORY: This Washington state facility is buzzing with election workers processing ballots, with just a few days to go until the midterm elections.

As concerns run high about misinformation and disinformation regarding election integrity, and growing fears of political violence...

King County election director Julie Wise says this race is different than any other she's seen in more than two decades of work.

“I’ve never, ever seen a climate like the one we currently are in, where some could argue that there's a war on democracy or elections itself, especially on vote by mail for the last couple of years.”

Voter fraud is extremely rare, but a Reuters/Ipsos poll from earlier this week found that nearly half of Americans believe it’s a widespread problem.

So.. Wise and her crew are operating here with what she calls “radical transparency.”

There are more than 50 cameras at the facility.

And people can watch a dozen online.

Election materials are kept for at least 22 months.

There’s also a record number of political party observers getting training on how the process works.

Wise said it’s key to make sure people know there is bipartisan observation at every step and that voting by mail is safe.

"When they're here, they also get all of their questions answered… I’d say vote by mail is the most secure, accurate and accessible election system that we have in this country.”

Biden: "American democracy is under attack….”

But federal and local officials are worried.

In a speech on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said when politicians cast doubt on elections... democracy itself is at risk.

"This intimidation, this violence against Democrats, Republicans and non-partisan officials just doing their jobs are the consequence of lies told for power and profit (FLASH) we have to confront those lies with the truth. The very future of our nation depends on it."

Back at the processing center outside Seattle....

Wise is confident her team is up to the task — and able to safely and securely handle over a million mail-in and drop box ballots.

'We use experts who did security in casinos, so that we're keeping our ballots just as secure as money."