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State officials scramble to get ballots out after issues with new system

King County ballots. (AP)

County officials across Washington are racing to enter a backlog of voter-registration data into a new statewide elections system.

Ballot bust: Pre-paid postage for ballots didn’t increase voter turnout

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
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