Courthouse Journal Blog

The Courthouse Journal is the official weekly newsletter of the Washington Association of County Officials. The Courthouse Journal Blog is a collection of publications relevant to WACO members, their staff, and others. *This blog is not updated on a schedule.

View All Posts

May 09

Wilco the WACO Wise Owl - Ballot Buddy Training with Cowlitz County Elections

Posted on May 9, 2023 at 12:54 PM by Cella Hyde

Wilco Cowlitz Auditor - 1
Where has Wilco been? Well, during the end of April, Wilco the WACO Wise Owl was seen defending the democratic process in Cowlitz County!

Wilco attended ballot box buddy training with Cowlitz County Elections before going out to collect ballots from the various ballot drop box locations in the County.

Wilco learned that in an effort to be transparent and instill confidence in voters, members of each major political party in Cowlitz County are invited to participate in the process of closing ballot boxes, emptying its contents, and transporting sealed ballot containers back to the Elections Office each Election Night. Cowlitz County calls these party positions, ballot box buddies

Wilco Cowlitz Auditor - 2
One ballot box buddy team is assigned to each ballot drop box in the County. Teams consist of:

  • One elections team leader.
  • One Republican Party buddy.
  • One Democratic Party buddy. 

Teams must complete mandatory training each Election Night before being assigned a ballot box location. Buddies never handle ballots; their role is to observe their team leader and verify that ballot boxes are secured at exactly 8:00 p.m. and ballots are transported securely back to the Elections Office for processing. 

With 8 ballot drop boxes in the County, it requires 8 team leaders and 16 ballot box buddies each Election Night to ensure this critical task is completed successfully. Wilco is now an official ballot box buddy assistant. ???

County officials, like the county treasurer, play a key role in the operation of local government. County officials include Assessors, Auditors, Clerks, Coroners, Prosecutors, Sheriffs, and Treasurers. Get to #knowyourcountyofficials with WACO’s Washington County Government booklet:

And don't forget, WACO has a roster of county officials for each of the 39 counties in Washington. Check out WACO’s roster of officials today:

Wilco Cowlitz Auditor - 3