Ballot Watch: Colorado and Utah’s successful mail-in voting

ABC News’ Clayton Sandell gets a behind-the-scenes look at Colorado’s vote-by-mail operations, and speaks with officials in Colorado and Utah about President Donald Trump’s mail-in fraud claims.
7:52 | 10/08/20

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Transcript for Ballot Watch: Colorado and Utah’s successful mail-in voting
Shall face off tonight in the debate with vice president Mike Pence in Salt Lake City, Utah Utah is one of a handful of states that for years has conducted its elections almost entirely by mail. Neighboring Colorado is another so with a record number of Americans expected to join them in voting by mail this fall. She's Clayton San don't talk to officials in both states and got an inside look at how Colorado is made their mail in system work. The steps they take to cheap ballots safe and secure and how responding to baseless claims by the president. Of mail in voter fraud it's tonight's ballot watch. No matter how many time. President trump makes false claims about mail in voting they take him we don't like them we don't like it did being sold did being dumped in rivers they found. Well it's no waste paper basket. And repeats them see they found ballots and a waste paper basket. They found ballots dumped in a stream. And repeat it well you get the idea election officials insist mail in voting is secure and trustworthy widespread voter fraud doesn't exist. People on the right and left to look for it he just does not exist. George stern is a Democrat he's in charge of running elections in Jefferson County Colorado a state that's had universal mail in voting since 2013. If all these rooms are under key card access I don't even have access to these rooms my elections director code is gonna have to let us in here. This year he's defending mail in voting a lot more than usual. What I'm worried about is that cleans false claims of widespread voter fraud. Are going to cause people to throw their hands and think why bother participate why wouldn't even vote in a process where I think this is going on and that's voter suppression. Five states including next door neighbor you talked the site of tonight's vice presidential debate have vote by mail for years. Both fraud does happen but experts say not very often while not an exhaustive list a database maintained by the conservative Heritage Foundation found just under thirteen hundred proven instances of voter fraud since 1979. Out of hundreds of millions of votes cast. Cases of people committing voter fraud in the United States are so rare one study found that Americans are far more likely. To be struck by lightning but despite the evidence the president's attack on mail in voting seems to have triggered his base. Absolutely. Thank if you privacy in the mail in ballot it's even then get dumped into. My specs get somewhere nodding. One recent poll found 43% of Republican and Republican leaning voters believe mail in voting fraud is a major problems. Compared to 11% of those who vote or lean Democrat. Plummer John Pavlik suggested voters dump their mail in ballots in a toilet he put in his front yard. When police showed up he insisted it was a joke. And I think we just all want. Integrity of the next election. Public is exactly the kind of voter stern is worried about so as the election nears. He's taking us behind the scenes eager to show off just how secure mail in voting is in Colorado. So we call this the Hubble this is our camera view of everything for starters each of the county's 35 ballot drop boxes is on camera 24/7. There on surveillance whether they're coming at 3 in the morning or 6 PM. We use this both to make sure that nothing's gone wrong and it mean nothing bad is happening but also helps us. Managed crowd through these rooms are so secure that cleaning crews are not allowed in here and so we have our own vacuum cleaner because we have to clean it. We have to take our trash cans out into the hallway as every dollar a rise each signature is checked by machines and a bipartisan team of judges trained by FBI handwriting experts. Less than 1% of signatures are ever rejected. Every time you've ever voted filled out a voter registration form visit the DMV. In a bipartisan team can usually say well actually we can tell that that is the right signature. And except sent the ballots are then counted by machines that stern says cannot be hacked. They're actually we take transparency very literally in this room that is our. The system connection right there you can CB. Fiber optic cables running up the top of it you can see the connections and that's all in internal systems so that the it's the results can move through out to the system but that we're not actually connected to the Internet. This week Jefferson County invited election judges from both parties to participate in what they call a logic and accuracy test. If ballot has a problem like this one the team works to make sure the vote is counted. So as you can see this one has a red border around it the system would want to compasses and overvotes so in this case we would. I'm select the vote for Diana. And continue to have a vote for shame we are counting ballots for two weeks before Election Day we don't know the results. Until 7 PM when we clicked tabulate button and then make those results available. In the middle of the cove a nineteen pandemic several states including Nevada are quickly ramping up mail in voting as a socially distance alternative. Republican Wayne Williams who served as Colorado secretary of state worries some states may not be ready with systems that can take years to perfect. Some of those states who were wanting to move to the system may not have an accurate signature database and how much can it affect the outcome. Can affected tremendously. So if you don't count the right ballots you can shift on election by a pointer to. So I should rhetoric from both sides saying they're always safe for their always fraudulent neither of those is correct if you do it right you can have is safe system. The truck campaign sued Nevada is Republican secretary of state to stop ballots from being mailed to all active voters but lost don't problems to report news story. It was robbed and murdered by you would and you need. This. To be problems right. There are sporadic cases of ballot trouble around the country in New Jersey a mail carrier was arrested today on charges he threw mail into dumpsters. Including nearly a hundred ballots. LA county is apologizing after 2000 ballots were missed printed. Without the presidential race and last week the president tweeted about 100000. Miss printed ballots sent to voters in Brooklyn. Playing up incidents that officials insist are relatively minor or totally bogus is part of a strategy political experts say to enact tougher or boating restrictions. Spent tends to reduce turnout for. For people in cities at yesterday's turnout for poor people for people of color today that tends to mean Democrats more than Republicans. He is concerned about. Possibly losing this election. And he's trying to raise concerns dad he will only loses it if it's a fraudulent election. Utah has also used mail in voting for the last seven years. Heavily Republican state using the system now under attack by a Republican president well I think the president is probably referring to states that aren't you topped the State's GOP chair hopes despite rhetoric from the president cooler heads prevail on election night. Did the best course of action is not to assume. Ever assume a conspiracy. Just be patient our clerks in every county who worked incredibly hard. And they have processes in place and we just need to wait and let the process work itself. Now election officials on both sides of the aisle hope the when voters cast a mail in ballot it's also a vote for keeping the faith and trust in the system. I would not pretend to speak for the president under to psychoanalyze why he's doing what he's doing I will say only that we have had seven years of experience. The universe of opening on Colorado. Have broad bipartisan support for it and we can say unequivocally. That it is extremely accessible than extremely secure. Clayton say they'll ABC news golden Colorado.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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