Voters Flood King County Elections Office With Calls

Voters Flood King County Elections Office With Calls
SEATTLE - The King County Elections Office opened its doors Saturday to field calls from angry voters after the Republican party challenged their right to vote in Tuesday's election.

Extra staffers were brought in to answer the phones which started ringing the moment the phone banks opened.

"We are getting a lot calls from people who are angry or concerned that this is literally days before the election and is their vote going to count? How can somebody challenge their right to participate in the election?" explained King County Elections Director Dean Logan.

Last month, Republicans walked into the election office saying they had iron-clad evidence that more than 1,900 people were illegally registered at post office boxes and storage sheds. Each of those people received a certified letter, challenging their right to vote.

"They have no right to challenge my integrity as a voter," complained Linda Mueter, "and make me jump through hoops in 48 hours to try and prove myself. I have lived in this community since 1980!"

All 100 people living in one downtown Seattle apartment house were challenged. Republicans have since dropped 140 challenges, but they insist the vast majority of their challenges -- about 1,800 now -- are valid.

"The focus shouldn't be on the work we did, the focus should be on the fact King County didn't do this work," said State Republican Party Chair Chris Vance. " We think the overwhelming majority of our work is accurate."

Some of those who called the elections office Saturday did indeed have new addresses. The elections office is urging everyone who received a letter to go ahead a vote using provisional ballots.

"Please vote, we're going to get to the bottom of this and have hearing to determine the validity of these challenges," said Logan.

Bottom line - even challenged votes can count. The elections office says go ahead and cast a ballot in Tuesday's general election and the challenge will be heard later.

State law presumes the address is correct on your voter registration information, it will be up to the Republicans to prove otherwise before the votes will be thrown out.