Washington is a mail in ballot state. The public may observe the processing of mail ballots. You may contact your County Auditor to arrange times to observe. Ballots are tabulated on optical scan and digital scan tabulating equipment. The equipment must be able to determine the ballot format for every ballot. Bar codes on each ballot allow the tabulation equipment to immediately determine the ballot format of that ballot, which allows the equipment to correctly read the ballot. For more information about ballot barcodes and this process please use your state's resource tool.