‘Votes couldn’t be more important this year,’ says Secretary of State

Sep 29, 2021, 7:57 AM
voter, approval voting...
A voter hands off her ballot as King County Elections drivers collect ballots from a ballot drop box outside Seattle Community College on Nov. 3, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

If you want to win elections, you at least first have to make sure that you’re registered. National Voter Registration Day was Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to talk about the upcoming election.

“Today is just a good reminder that you should check the address on your registration form and make sure it’s up to date with your current residence,” Wyman said. “And if it’s not, you can update that today. Otherwise, if you’re not registered to vote, you can register to vote today and you can go to VoteWA.gov and do that pretty quickly and simply.”

Right now, Wyman says there are 4.8 million registered voters in Washington state.

“The people that are on the rolls are going to be able to cast a ballot in the Nov. 2 election, which is very important because we’re talking about the local races for offices that affect your daily life,” she said. “Votes couldn’t be more important this year.”

As far as the disconnect between people who are registered to vote but don’t turn in a ballot, Wyman says there’s multiple reasons for that, but it’s always more noticeable in odd-year elections.

“I think overall, we are always in the top five or six states for voter turnout,” Wyman said. “The challenge is, of course, that voters get a lot of information in even-year elections, particularly the presidential year. We have a lot of campaign material, a lot of TV ads, radio ads, nonstop. So it’s always top of mind.”

“In the odd-year elections, you don’t have as much money in those races. So you don’t have the radio ads and the TV ads and the bombardment in your mailbox,” she explained. “So I think it slips out of the voters’ kind of vision, or they don’t think that they know enough about the race to cast an informed vote, so a lot of them skip it because of that.”

Responding to claims that the system is rigged

While there’s no evidence of widespread election stealing in Washington state, Rantz noted that there are still people who believe the system is rigged.

How concerned is Wyman about that narrative preventing people from voting?

“Oh, I am very concerned,” she replied. “I’m certainly looking at things that people are saying online, on social media. And the theme in conservative circles is very much that the election was rigged in 2020 and continues to be to this day, and calling for audits and things.”

“Take a step back, go to your local election office, and see all of the audits we do currently — before Election Day, during the election, after Election Day,” Wyman suggested. “The accountability measures that are in place allow the counties to account for every single ballot that’s returned and can report if it was counted, and if it wasn’t counted, why the canvassing board rejected it. It’s like a bank. We keep that detailed of a chain of custody and audit control.”

Washington Sec. of State: Onslaught of election lawsuits could cause ‘significant damage’

Wyman wishes that people would start there and learn about the process rather than jumping to conclusions that all elections are rigged.

That said, Wyman did say she think it’s a healthy part of democracy for people to question the process, and question the measures taken in terms of security and access.

“That’s healthy for our democracy because it makes the election administration more transparent and holds us accountable,” she said. “And I think that we need to continue doing that.”

Rantz asked if there’s anything she’s heard from those concerned about the election process that’s helpful or a good recommendation.

“I think the most credible thing I’ve heard so far has been people pointing out very specific, you know, an audit up in San Juan County that when they did a batch audit, three votes went to Biden, but on the log it didn’t show it that way,” she replied. “These are not irregularities that are rampant fraud or even fraud. These can often times be mistakes, oftentimes it’s just misreading the form.”

“But I think that those kinds of things, if that’s what people want to drill down to and talk about specific instances or specific things that they are certain were fraudulent or irregular, then election officials can actually address those specific questions. That’s good,” Wyman said. “But just a blanket statement that the election was stolen for the governor’s race because of fraud, it’s impossible to respond to. That’s alleging felony level crimes without any kind of detail or evidence that we can act upon and investigate or prosecute.”

Ballots will be mailed out starting Oct. 15 for the general election on Nov. 2. Online and mail voter registrations must be received eight days before Election Day, but you can register to vote or update your voter registration in-person up to Nov. 2.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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‘Votes couldn’t be more important this year,’ says Secretary of State