WA Sec of State candidate Tarleton: ‘Our voting rights are under attack’

Sep 9, 2020, 2:40 PM
voting, secretary of state, Tarleton...
(AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)
(AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)

There’s a race for secretary of state this year between incumbent Republican Kim Wyman and Democratic state representative Gael Tarleton of the 36th Legislative District. Tarleton joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss threats to voting rights and what prompted her to run.

“We have had a game changing scenario since 2016, and I’m running because our voting rights are under attack. I’m running because our elections have been under attack since 2016. And then here we are in 2020, and now Trump is attacking our election,” she said.

“So as a former senior defense intelligence analyst, I take it seriously when you have both attacks happening — one from the outside, one from the inside. You better take it seriously,” she added. “Don’t ever take it for granted that we will always have our democracy here.”

But considering that Washington state runs its own elections, does Trump really have any power to impact them?

“Trump found the way to have power when everyone least expected it,” Tarleton said. “He started dismantling the operational capability of the U.S. Postal Service, and that’s when we should have started paying attention. When we found out that mail sorting machines were being removed, that mail processing centers in Washington state were being removed, that collection boxes from the postal office were being removed. And most importantly, when we found out that postal workers schedules were being massively disrupted so that they were not being allowed to deliver the mail on time, that’s the warning sign.”

Housing market inventory at 20-year low for Puget Sound region

“And then the final warning was when our secretary of state got a letter July 31 from the post office saying, ‘Oh, by the way, don’t count on your mail to deliver your ballots,'” Tarleton added. “And what was her response? Invite Trump to come to our voting by mail. That’s not a plan.”

Does Tarleton not buy the idea that the post office was just carrying out a previously planned efficiency program?

“An inefficiency program does not ordinarily include a removal of equipment that processes mail at high speed,” she said. “Our mail is already disrupted. I mail five letters a week from the post office in this state because all of my family and my husband’s family lives on the East Coast, and it used to be three to five days. I could count on them getting there. Now it’s seven to ten days in Massachusetts, or in New Jersey, or in Virginia. There is no predictability and that’s the risk.”

Do she have any indications that there’s going to be a problem mailing out the ballots?

“The attorney general, [Bob] Ferguson, did file a lawsuit in our federal courts against the Trump administration, and his lawsuit was specifically focused on Washington state, to tell us where the damage has been done to the operational capability of the post office. The first hearings were with the federal court in eastern Washington, I think a couple of weeks ago,” she said.

Survey: Chiropractors seeing spate of injuries from at home workers

“What that judge said is: ‘I need in my hands where the mail sorting machines have been removed, where the mail processing centers have been closed, what collection boxes have been removed, and which counties have been most affected,'” she said. “And the Trump administration’s response is there isn’t really any way we can provide you that information in a rapid period of time.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

MyNorthwest Staff

Mudhoney bassist and nurse: ‘COVID has touched everything,’ even music

Guy Maddison, the bassist for Mudhoney, is also a supervising nurse at Harborview. He shares the impact COVID has had on his life.
20 hours ago
Steve Bannon...
Dave Ross

Ross: The person who really needs to testify about Jan. 6 riot isn’t Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon may be the one summoned to testify in Congress about Jan. 6, but there's someone else who has more to answer for.
2 days ago
Freedom, vaccine mandate...
Dave Ross

Ross: Freedom requires level of unselfishness many in our country don’t have

Total freedom requires a level of unselfishness that doesn't come naturally for a lot of people, as we've seen firsthand with the state vaccine mandate.
3 days ago
car tabs, Orting...
Dave Ross

Ross: Did you vote for I-976 car tab cuts in 2019? Wish granted

While a vaccine mandate cost the ferry system 7% of its staff, let’s remember this is happening in a state that was ready to impose bigger cuts two years ago.
4 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: May we live long and prosper with our vaccine choices

Talk show host Dennis Praeger decided to put it all on the line to prove he’s right about vaccines.
5 days ago
Flu vaccine...
MyNorthwest Staff

A new ‘universal’ flu-COVID shot on the horizon, says local MD

Mercer Island’s Dr. Gordon Cohen discusses how future iterations of the COVID mRNA vaccine could also treat seasonal flu.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
WA Sec of State candidate Tarleton: ‘Our voting rights are under attack’