Tag Archives: King County Elections

Republican Ballot Collection in King County Threatens Integrity of Election Process

For immediate release:

From King County Democrats

Steve Zemke- Chair


Republican Ballot Collection in King County Threatens Integrity of Election Process

The King County Democrats condemn the canvassing efforts of Rob McKenna and the King County Republicans to collect ballots at people’s doors and put them into King County Elections Drop boxes.  This breaks the historical chain of custody that has existed in our election process and opens it to abuse and fraud.

We would never have allowed one party or unauthorized election officials to collect ballots from polling places in the past and transfer them to King County Elections. Yet what McKenna and Republicans are doing is taking ballots from voters and breaking the chain of custody that existed in the past and that putting a ballot in the mail or a drop box insures.

Tampering with mail is a Federal offense and tampering with votes is a felony. Yet who is watching over the ballots when GOP paid canvassers pick up ballots and ensuring that ballots are not lost or changed or tampered with.  GOP paid canvassers are not election officials and should not be handling ballots.

We urge Washington State Secretary of State Sam Reed to call a halt to this unforeseen and callous attempt to destroy the ballot chain of custody process. We likewise urge Sherril Huff of King County Elections to also tell Republicans to cease this process as it threatens the integrity of the election results. Would state and local election officials think it was OK for anyone to remove ballots from a drop box and transport them to King County?  Republicans and McKenna need to cease this process now!



McKenna Camp Paying People to Collect Ballots; KC Elections Advises Voters to Send Ballots In Themselves  http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profiles/publicola/articles/mckenna-camp-paying-people-to-collect-ballots-kc-elections-advises-voters-to-send-ballots-in-themselves

Elections officials caution voters about canvassers offering to help with ballots http://www.king5.com/news/local/Elections-officials-caution-voters-on-canvassers-offering-to-help-with-ballots-177047041.html

King County Warns that GOP Is Trying to Collect Ballots http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/11/02/king-county-warns-that-gop-is-trying-to-collect-ballots

WA: GOP Volunteers Going Door To Door In DEMOCRATIC King County TO COLLECT BALLOTS!!!   http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021701454




Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission Commits Blooper

O.K. Who polices the police and says that they have committed a violation?

On the lead in page of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission you will find the following item front and center in a box.  Can you tell me what is wrong with this page and how it is is a prime example of the ethics and elections “police” not being able to “police” themselves. I’ve copied the item in question because they will probably change this link by the time you see it.

August 16, 2011 Primary Election
November 8, 2011
General Election

Seattle voters will see a variety of local offices on
their ballots this year, and also some propositions, local and possibly state,
as well.

Seattle City Council Candidates

City Council Positions
on the ballot in the Primary:

Council Position 1 (Godden)
City Council Position 9 (Clark)

City Council Positions on the
ballot in the General:

City Council
Position 3 (Harrell)
City Council Position 5 (Rasmussen)
City Council Position 7 (Burgess)

if there are only one or two declared candidacies for a position there is no Primary. Information on all registered City Council campaigns can be found on our: 2011 Campaigns page

If you click on their link from this elections page to their link for the 2011 Campaigns page you will see the problem.

In an election is it proper to label Council Position 1 as the “Godden” seat on the first page even if she is the incumbent?  Jean Godden has 3 opponents and she has to run for election the same as they do. Are the others running of lesser distinction and not to be given equal exposure? Her opponents certainly wouldn’t think so.

The Ethics and Elections Committee has clearly erred and by doing so has given the incumbents special exposure not accorded to their challengers. That is an unfair advantage.

It has nothing to do with the incumbent’s record or credibility, it has to do with giving the incumbent unique exposure that is clearly an advantage.  Such exposure and labeling does not occur on the actual ballot so why is it happening here in of all place a web page of the commission charged with election ethics.

Likewise Position 3 identified with the label  (Harrell) for the incumbent Bruce Harrell, also has Brad Meacham also running for this position.

Position 5 identified with the label (Rasmussen) for the incumbent Tom Rasmussen, has Dale L Pusey also running for this seat.

Position 7 identified with (Burgess) for incumbent Tim Burgess, has David L Schraer also running.

And Position 9 identified with (Clark) for incumbent Sally Clark, has 2 others also running – Dian Ferguson and Fathi Kashie.

Incumbents have enough advantages in running for office.  The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission does need to contribute further to the disadvantages that challengers have in trying to get their names out there as candidates also running.

Does King County Elections Know There is a November General Election?

Visiting the King County Elections home page today (Sept 11, 2010) or clicking on the current elections tab would give you no indication that there is a November 2, 2010 General Election. Both pages talk about the August 17, 2010 primary. The current elections page is highlighted by the words August 17, 2010 primary and special election. It seems King County Electionsis still stuck in August and before. They don’t list the upcoming election , candidates or ballot issues. Is everyone in King County Elections on Vacation? Have all the workers been furloughed?

On another page King County Elections has the following:

Have I registered in time for the next election?

Date of Election 29 day mail-in registration and address change deadline Eight-day registration deadline *

August 17, 2010 primary and special election Monday, July 19, 2010 Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 >

Nowhere do they give the information on what most of us would consider “the current election – the one coming up on Nov 2, 2010“. If they can’t keep their site updated then maybe they should have included the deadlines for both the Primary and General Election when they put information up, particularly if they are not going to update it in a timely fashion.

The major delay in posting actual candidates for the November election  falls to the certification date of the Primary Election which took place on Sept 1, 2010. This date is already long past. Another possible delay can take place in cities and counties submitting propositions for the November ballot. Snohomish County’s Election website has a page noting a 52 day prior to the election deadline for “resolutions”. That date is Sept 10, 2010. But King County makes no mention of this possible issue.

But is seems it serves the public best to post those races and issues like statewide initiatives and other measures that are not in doubt as soon as they are known and note that additional measures may be posted as they are certified for the ballot if this is an issue. This means that there should be a complete list of candidates and nearly complete list of issues on the November ballot available as of Sept 1, 2010.

Meanwhile the Washington Secretary of State’s website has already posted their November 2, 2010 General Election Voters Guide which lists all state issues and Federal, Congressional and legislative candidates. Obviously all candidates and most issues at this time are not in doubt as to being on the ballot.

The Washington Secretary of State’s website also give a clear explanation of the Deadlines for Registering to Vote and Changing Your Voting Address.  While they listed the Primary voter registration deadlines, they also include the current deadlines for the upcoming Nov 2, 2010 general election ballot.

They note that the standard deadline for online, and paper applications and updates is October 4, 2010. The late deadline for in person registration if not already registered in Washington State is October 25, 2010 for the November 2nd, 2010 election.

Is it possible for King County Elections to do a better job? Yes.  Look at Spokane County – they already have up an online general election voters guide that lists state measures, Congressional, legislative, and judicial races. Why can’t King County Elections?

Look at Thurston County Elections. They have up on their main page a prominent box that says how many days are left to register for the November Election. And they already have up a sample ballot for the November election. How is that they are able to do this but King County which represents about a third of the voters in the state is still stuck back in August?

Maybe it’s time for King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council to place a call over to King County Elections and see if anyone is there. If someone answers they need to ask if King County Elections is aware that there is a November election and that they should be keeping their website updated to provide current information to the voting public.

King County Democrats August 17, 2010 Primary Endorsements

The following is a list of candidates endorsed by the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) for the  August 17, 2010 Primary Election

Position – Candidate

United States Senator – Patty Murray

United States Representatives:

District 1 – Jay Inslee

District 2 – Rick Larsen

District 7 – Jim McDermott

District 8 – Suzan DelBene

District 9 – Adam Smith

Washington State:

Legislative District 1, Position 1 – Derek Stanford

Legislative District 1, Position 2 – Luis Moscoso

Legislative District 5, Position 1 – Gregory Scott Hoover

Legislative District 5, Position 2 – Dean Willard

Legislative District 11, Position 1 – Zack Hudgins

Legislative District 11, Position 2 – Bob Hasegawa

Legislative District 30, Senator – Tracey Eide

Legislative District 30, Position 1 – Mark Miloscia

Legislative District 30, Position 2 – Carol Gregory

Legislative District 31, Senator – Raymond Bunk Dual Endorsement

Ron Weigelt Dual Endorsement

Legislative District 31, Position 1 – Peggy Levesque

Legislative District 32, Senator – Maralyn Chase

Legislative District 32, Position 1 – Cindy Ryu

Legislative District 32, Position 2 – Ruth Kagi

Legislative District 33, Senator – Karen Keiser

Legislative District 33, Position 1 – Tina Orwall

Legislative District 33, Position 2 – Dave Upthegrove

Legislative District 34, Senator – Sharon Nelson

Legislative District 34, Position 1 – Eileen Cody

Legislative District 34, Position 2 – Marcee Stone

Legislative District 36, Senator – Jeanne Kohl-Welles

Legislative District 36, Position 1 – Reuven Carlyle

Legislative District 36, Position 2 – Mary Lou Dickerson

Legislative District 37, Senator – Adam Kline

Legislative District 37, Position 1 – Sharon Tomiko Santos

Legislative District 37, Position 2 – Eric Pettigrew

Legislative District 39, Position 1 – Eleanor Walters

Legislative District 41, Senator – Randy Gordon

Legislative District 41, Position 1 – Marcie Maxwell

Legislative District 41, Position 2 – Judy Clibborn

Legislative District 43, Senator – Ed Murray

Legislative District 43, Position 1 – Jamie Pedersen

Legislative District 43, Position 2 -Frank Chopp

Legislative District 45, Senator – Eric Oemig

Legislative District 45, Position 1 – Roger Goodman

Legislative District 45. Position 2 – Larry Springer

Legislative District 46, Senator – Scott White

Legislative District 46, Position 1 – David Frockt

Legislative District 46, Position 2 – Phyllis G. Kenney

Legislative District 47, Senator – Claudia Kauffman

Legislative District 47, Position 1 – Geoff Simpson

Legislative District 47, Position 2 – Pat Sullivan

Legislative District 48, Senator – Rodney Tom

Legislative District 48, Position 1 – Ross Hunter

Legislative District 48, Position 2 – Deb Eddy

King County:

County Council District 8 – Joe McDermott

City of Seattle – Municipal Court

Position 1 – Edsonya Charles Postponed 9/28

– Ed McKenna Postponed 9/28

Position 3 – Steve Rosen

Position 5 – Willie Gregory

Position 6 – Karen Donohue


Washington State Supreme Court:

Justice Position 1 – Stan Rumbaugh

Justice Position 5 – Barbara Madsen (Chief Justice)

Justice Position 6 – Charlie Wiggins

Court of Appeals, Division 1, District 1 – Michael Spearman

Superior Court, Position 36 – Jean Rietschel

King County District Court

Northeast District, Position 6 – Michael Finkle

West District, Position 5 – Anne Harper

Shoreline District, Position 2 – Marcine Anderson

R1 Southeast District, Position 2 – Darrell Phillipson Dual Endorsement

David Meyer Dual Endorsement

Southwest District, Position 2 – Susan Mahoney

Northeast District, Position 7 – Donna Tucker Triple Endorsement

Larry Mitchell Triple Endorsement

Ketu Shah Triple Endorsement

Southeast District, Position 6 – Matt Williams Dual Endorsement

David Tracy Dual Endorsement

King County Elections Last Minute Voting Help for August 18, 2009 Primary

King County Elections has issued the following press release detailing special Saturday hours, other last minute opportunities to vote, get a duplicate ballot or deal with other problems:

King County Elections News Release

Date: August 14, 2009
Contact: Kim Van Ekstrom, 206-296-1552

Megan Coppersmith, 206-296-2796

Elections Office announces special Saturday hours

With Election Day fast approaching on Tuesday, King County Elections will be open on Saturday to assist voters.

According to Sherril Huff, Director of Elections, “Even voters who have forgotten to update their addresses or lost their ballots still have an opportunity to vote. It is not too late to be part of this election.”

To accommodate voters, King County Elections will have Saturday office hours tomorrow, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voters who have not yet received their ballot can come to have a new ballot issued to them.

King County also has options for voters with disabilities. Three accessible voting centers are available for voters who may need assistance casting their ballot. The hours and locations are as follows:

Renton, King County Elections, 919 SW Grady Way, 98057

Friday, August 14: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, August 17: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Bellevue City Hall 450 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue, 98009, and

Seattle, Union Station 401 S. Jackson St, Seattle, 98104

Friday, August 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, August 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, August 17: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Each center is operated by trained staff and has equipment designed to make voting accessible and private for everyone. The touch screen accessible voting unit features lap paddles and sip-and-puff devices, an audio option, and large and high contrast font to aid voters.

Don’t forget to vote in Tuesday’s primary. Voters can return their ballots in either of two ways: via the US Postal Service, postmarked on or before August 18, or at a designated drop boxes up until 8 p.m. on August 18. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections for more information on the upcoming election.

Sherril Huff Has Strong Lead in Early Returns.

In the first returns from King County Elections released just after 8 PM tonight, Sherril Huff, the current Elections Director for King County, has taken a strong lead over the 5 other candidates in the special election to fill the office of King County Elections Director. She is receiving 44% of the vote. David Irons is coming in second with only 19% of the vote. The 9:00 PM count is below:

Sherril Huff ……………..75,983….. 44.00%
David Irons……………. 33,200……19.23%
Pam Roach ……………..28,896 ……16.73%
Bill Anderson …………..14,775…….. 8.56%
Julie Kempf …………….12,069 ……..6.99%
Christopher Clifford,….6,854 ………3.97%
Write-in……………………… 895……….. .52%

The turnout as expected in ballots mailed in is only 15% at present. For the importance of the office this is rather bleak but for the Republicans who pushed for this “nonpartisan” election it has to be a big disappointment. Sherril Huff’s lead looks very difficult to overcome and the candidate appointed to run the Elections Office by Democrat Ron Sims is the probable winner.

Irons raised the most money at $158,000 , $132,000 of his own money. His last report showed him spending $107,176 of his money – $75,000 on direct mail.

Sherril Huff meanwhile raised some $56,761. Some $30,000 came from the Washington State Democrats.

Pam Roach only raised $3,200 and was limited from raising money while the Legislature is in session.

Is it David Irons, David W Irons or David W Irons Jr running for King County Director of Elections?

For someone running in the February 3, 2009 Special Election to be King County Director of Elections, you would think David Irons aka David W Irons aka David W Irons Jr would be a little more careful about how he uses his names in the campaign and associated required campaign filings.

After all, he can only vote under one of these names, not all three and voters likewise only have one name to choose of his on the ballot. So why does he at different times use one of three different versions of his name?

David Irons previously ran as a Republican for both the King County Council and for King County Executive. A big deal ihas been made by Republicans, of disqualifying ballots if voters do not sign their ballots exactly as they are registered to vote.

Yet in his official campaign dealings in this campaign Irons has used at least 3 “different variations of his name”. This can be confusing to voters but also appears to have confused the computers and/or workers at the Public Disclosure Commission enough that their programs listing campaign contributions and expenditures were not correctly reporting campaign finance data results for the Feb 3, 2009 King County Director of Elections race.

David Irons is registered to vote as “David W Irons” according to his declaration of candidacy. His response on his declaration of candidacy to “Please print my name on the ballot exactly as follows:” was “David Irons“.

So why did he not file all his forms with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission -as “David Irons”? This is who he is asking the public to vote for and the name you would thus logically expect to look up for more information at the Public Disclosure Commission.

He filed his C1 initial filing with the PDC as “David W Irons“. (See PDC -“actual reports” you will have to search for David W Irons as the PDC site does not stay live in searches). This is not, however, how he identifies himself on the ballot or video voters pamphlet or even on his website where he is David Irons.

But here’s where it gets confusing. He then filed all of his subsequent filings with the PDC using another version of his name – “David W Irons Jr.” (See PDC -“actual reports” – Again you will have to search for David W Irons Jr this time as reports do not stay live) This was how he filed his PDC forms previously with the PDC when he ran for King County Council and King County Executive.

The result of filing all of his forms under David W Iron Jr except for his C1, was that the Public Disclosure Commission up through yesterday, erroneously listed David Irons as not having raised any funds or made any expenditures when one used their “search the database” function for 2009 County Director of Elections races.

In reality, the actual reports filed not under the C1 name “David W Irons” or his ballot name “David Irons“, but under “David W Irons Jr” show him receiving $40,756 in cash and $6,460 in kind in his campaign to be the King County Director of Elections.. The bulk of his cash, some $35,000 came from his personal funds which he contributed back on Dec 8, 2008.

The PDC has now caught the problem caused by reports being filed by Irons under different names but one would think that someone running to be the Director of Elections for the largest county in the state with over 30% of the voters would be aware of the problems caused in computer databases by his using “different names” in filing required public documents.

Maybe the PDC should have been aware of the potential problem when it received his initial C1 and realized he had been a candidate before. Yet he also should have been aware of this, particularly considering the office he is running for.

Previous names he used when he ran for office likewise show show a lack of continuity in how he identified himself.

When he first ran for County Council he filed a C1 on 7/8/98 where he was listed as candidate – David William Irons Jr and his campaign name was- Friends to Elect David W Irons Jr

When he ran for re-election he filed an amended C1 on 10-23-2003 where he was candidate – David W Irons Jr and his campaign name was Friends to Re-elect David W Irons.

When he ran for King County Executive and filed another amended C1 on 3-23-2005 he was candidate – David W Irons Jr and his campaign name was – Committee to Elect David Irons. This was changed 4/05/2005 to David Irons for County Executive.

And his most recent C1 on 12/4/2008 lists him as candidate David W Irons and his campaign name as Irons for Elections and his ballot name as David Irons.

Of course the Jr issue is complicated by the fact that in 1996 his father David W Irons Sr ran for the Washington State Senate and those PDC records are still on file.

King County Charter Amendments on November Ballot Need Scrutiny

Every 10 years King County in Washington State reviews its charter and has a citizens panel recommend changes. The Charter Review Commission came up with a series of amendments earlier this year that they recommended to the King County Council to be placed on the November 4, 2008 ballot.

The King County Council ultimately voted to place 6 Charter Amendments on the November 4, 2008 ballot and will consider additional ones for a vote next year.

In addition two citizen initiatives proposing Charter Amendments are on the November ballot. Initiative 25 for a nonpartisan elected elections official is now Charter Amendment 1 and Initiative 26 requiring that King County elected officials be non partisan is now Charter Amendment 8.

Initiative 25 (now Charter Amendment 1) is opposed by the Municipal League of King County:
“The integrity of the elections process demands independence and professional management in the elections function of government. Consistent with the Municipal League position on record that leadership positions in King County government which require administrative and management expertise should be appointed, we oppose making the position an elected position….

The League of Women Voters of King County also opposes Charter Amendment 1.

As noted in a Seattle Times article last year if Charter Amendment 1 passes there will be a costly special election to elect the new Elections Director in February 2009. There will be no primary vote for this office.

Initiative 26 (now Charter Amendment 8) was a Republican sponsored measure intended to hide party identification. Majority Rules Blog opposes Charter Amendment 8 because it will make it more difficult to determine what political philosophy a candidate actually supports. It is an attempt by Republicans, who paid signature gatherers to place this proposed amendment on the ballot, to shed their party label and hide their political positions behind campaign slogans and rhetoric that obscure their real political goals.

Charter Amendment 8 will make it more difficult to know where candidates stand on issues. The reality is that no Republican now is forced to run as a Republican under our current voting system of the top 2 candidates going on to the general election. No one is required to state a party affiliation now. Charter Amendment 8 is not needed and should be voted down.

It is also important to note that Charter Amendment 8 also sets up a non-partisan redistricting commission. Redistricting now is done by a Committee of 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats who jointly select a 5th member. If Charter Amendment 8 passes and so called non-partisan members are selected, the current political balance may well be lost and the commission dominated by members of 1 party or the other depending on the appointment process.

An 84 page King County staff report on proposed charter amendments 2 – 7 is at http://mkcclegisearch.metrokc.gov/attachments/31053.pdf

There is currently an updated link at the King County Elections site to all the ordinances passed by the King County Council that also provides more detail on what the charter amendments do. Pro and Con statements are present as well as the actual text of the ordinances.

I have also provided links below to each of the charter amendments if you want to check more detail, pro and con statements and read the actual ordinances on a specific charter amendment

King County Charter Amendment No. 1

Elected Elections Director

Shall the King County Charter be amended to provide that the position of county director of elections be created as a nonpartisan elected office?


King County Charter Amendment No. 2

Prohibiting Discrimination

Shall Section 840 of the King County Charter be amended to add disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression to the prohibited grounds for discrimination in county employment and county contracting, and to limit the prohibition against discrimination in county contracting to contracts with nongovernmental entities, as provided in Ordinance No. 16204?


King County Charter Amendment No. 3

Regional Committees

Shall Sections 230.10, 270.20 and 270.30 of the King County Charter be amended to reduce the number of county council members on regional committees, establish a vice chair position on regional committees, authorize the regional policy committee to adopt its own work program, add authority for regional committees to initiate legislation, modify regional committee procedures, and authorize the addition of nonvoting members to the water quality committee, as provided in Ordinance No. 16205?


King County Charter Amendment No. 4

Additional Qualifications for Elected Officials

Shall Section 630 of the King County Charter be amended to authorize the county council to establish additional qualifications for separately elected officials who head executive departments, as provided in Ordinance No. 16206?


King County Charter Amendment No. 5

Establishing Forecast Council and Office of Economic and Financial Analysis

Shall the King County Charter be amended to require the establishment of a forecast council and an office of economic and financial analysis, as provided in Ordinance No. 16207?


Budget Deadlines

Shall Sections 410 and 420 of the King County Charter be amended to impose deadlines that are twenty days earlier than existing deadlines for county agencies to submit budget information to the county executive and for the county executive to present a proposed budget to the county council, as provided in Ordinance No. 16208?


King County Charter Amendment No. 7

Charter Amendment by Citizen Initiative

Shall King County Charter Section 800 be amended to establish a new process for citizens to directly propose amendments to the King County Charter and to increase the signature threshold for citizen-initiated charter amendments from 10% to 20% of the votes cast in the last election for county executive, as provided in Ordinance No. 16221?


King County Charter Amendment No. 8

Nonpartisan Elections

Shall the King County Charter be amended to make the offices of King county executive, King county assessor and King county council nonpartisan, and to establish the nonpartisan selection of districting committee members?


Fuse Washington recommends support for Charter Amendments 2-7 and No votes on Charter Amendments 1 and 8.

This post was revised and updated on Oct 27, 2008 to add more information.