This is the letter that Katie Blinn, co-director of elections at the secretary of state’s office, sent to the King County political parties, the state parties and the gubernatorial campaigns today requesting information about any ballots collected by their staff or volunteers.
The request comes in the wake of reports that Republicans collected suburban King County voters’ ballots over the weekend.
The Secretary of State’s office is requesting by 5 p.m. Wednesday that the parties and campaigns supply the names and addresses of voters who ballots were collected, the date and location the ballots were received, the names of staff or volunteers who received them and the status of the ballots.
In her letter, Blinn says:
While such activity has become common practice for voter registration drives, and for missing or mismatched ballot declaration signatures, we have greater concern about campaigns and political parties asking voters to hand over voted ballots. If an organization fails to submit a voter registration application or ballot declaration to the elections office, the voter usually has the opportunity to learn of this failure early enough to submit another application or declaration before the deadline. But if an organization fails to submit a voter’s ballot by the 8:00 p.m. deadline, the voter has no opportunity to submit another ballot. The result is disenfranchisement.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson says her office has not heard reports of similar efforts here. Her office put out a statement, urging voters to take advantage of its 27 ballot drop boxes and six voting centers.