Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson says her office is taking extra steps to help voters who might have not received a ballot because of a snafu in a state website.
The Secretary of State’s office announced Monday that a glitch may have prevented as many as 21,000 people from receiving mail ballots.
The problem affected voters who tried to register to vote or update their voter registration addresses online at the same time they were renewing driver licenses with the state Department of Licensing. For whatever reason (both DOL and the Secretary of State’s office point the finger at the other), the information did not make it into the state voter database.
Anderson said that while the secretary of state reported that 2,309 Pierce County voters could be affected, the actual number is lower. That’s because of the 2,309 people, 689 had also contacted the Pierce County auditor directly to update their registrations.
The remaining 1,600 or so voters, whose registrations were either never updated or never received, aren’t out of luck. For many, the post office probably forwarded their ballots to them. The others who never received a ballot can still visit a Voting Center for help voting.
Anderson explains the extra measures she’s taken to make sure voters don’t miss out:
For the 886 voters who still have an old address on file, most likely the USPS forwarded the ballot to their new address.
Of the remaining records, we found that 734 were not registered voters and not on file at all. That means that 734 Pierce County residents attempted to register at the DOL website. But their registrations are considered incomplete because DOL did not configure their page properly (they did not consult with Elections Administrators):
· They didn’t ask the user to attest that they were a U.S. Citizen.
· They didn’t require the user to sign an oath.
We will treat these 734 records as “incomplete” registrations. We have instructed our Election Workers to:
· Ask these folks sign a Voter Registration form.
· Accept these as completed registrations.
· Offer a Provisional Ballot.
· Count the ballot after we verify the applicant’s identity.
Today, we called the potentially affected voters (886) with the following message:
“If you have not received a ballot for this election, it is not too late to vote. Visit a voting center today, before 8 p.m. To find a voting center, call 798-VOTE or check your local voters’ pamphlet.”