State officials scramble to get ballots out after issues with new system
County officials across Washington are racing to enter a backlog of voter-registration data into a new statewide elections system.
The Seattle Times reported Monday that officials are trying to get this done in time to get ballots printed and mailed by mid-July for the August 6 primary. This comes as a result of a backlog created after a month-long shutdown of voter databases, to transition the state to a new system.
That system is VoteWa, described by the state as a “a modernized elections system … to create a centralized system for both voter registration and elections management.”
VoteWa allows election administrators to see voter changes made across the state in real-time. The system has caused headaches for officials, though, causing many to fall behind on getting voter information to vendors in time for the mid-July deadline. According to the Times, further delays could have ballots getting out to voters late.
This comes as four new voter measures officially went into effect on July 1:
- Prepaid postage for mailed ballots
- Online voter registration
- Same-day registration at county elections offices
- “Future voter” registration, that allows 16 and 17-year-olds to apply for automatic voter registration when they turn 18