Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

RECALL: Why can’t petitions be online?

Letter by Ernest J. LaChapelle, Fircrest on March 7, 2011 at 10:27 am with 5 Comments »
March 7, 2011 1:11 pm

In reading the recent article about the Dale Washam recall, I was struck by the fact the state and county are still requiring paper petitions. It seems with so much now being done online that the signature process could be done online. It would also allow a faster verifictation of voter registration.

If this seems too much, too soon, the IRS is doing it for e-filing and refunds, so the method is out there, it just needs the powers that be to implement it.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Probably because they don’t want people sitting at home with a phone book (I know, antiquated) and signing petitions with 1000s of different names and addresses. At least with paper petitions you have to sign it in front of the signature collector and you can only do it once. Granted, you can go around and find multiple signature collectors and sign with a different name on their list, but the potential for fraud, while certainly not eliminated, is lower with paper petitions.

    Also, what would prevent those people who are out-of-state from interfering with the political process in WA if they could start signing petitions in this manner?

    The process of verifying petition signatures is not very exhaustive. What they do is they take anywhere from 5-10% of the signatures and check them to see if they are the names and addresses of registered voters. Whatever percentage of those that turn out to be accurate is the percentage of the total number of signatures collected deemed to be valid. So if you allowed online petition signing, people could conceivably load up the petition with e-signatures of people who may be registered to vote, but would never sign the petition, or just with made up names and addresses, and if the sample that gets verified by chance only includes truly valid signatures, then all of the signatures will be counted as valid.

    That may not seem like a problem, until a few overzealous supporters of whatever issue is being proposed decide to load the petition with several thousand names each. Then, before you know it, the total number of signatures collected and “verified as valid” exceeds the number of registered voters — or possibly even the number of residents — in the county.

  2. slickback, good post.

  3. Slickback — I got bored reading your post. Too long. Just say “fraud.”

  4. olympicmtn says:

    Start the petition to get rid of Superintendent Jarvis and I will sign!!!!

  5. Start the petition to get rid Tim Eyeman and I’ll sign.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0