WA Secretary of State stands by integrity of election process

Oct 6, 2022, 3:08 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2022, 3:19 pm


King County election workers count ballots (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

As the general election nears, Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs (D) is assuring voters the state’s election system is “secure, accessible, and transparent” with his Vote with Confidence campaign.

Elections office dealing with cyber threats

Hobbs is in an election standoff with Pierce County auditor Julie Anderson (I), as they both received the top two spots in the state’s primary. Under Washington’s primary system, the top two vote-getters move on to the general election, regardless of party.

“You saw what happened Jan. 6, we are dealing with misinformation and cyber attacks,” Hobbs said on The Gee and Ursula Show. “I’ve been doing that. And we’ve had three misinformation campaigns that we had to push back on and a cyber threat.”

Before he was secretary of state, Hobbs was the state senator for Washington’s 44th legislative district. He chaired the Transportation Committee and was a member of the Business, Financial Services & Trade; and Environment, Energy & Technology committees.

Hobbs confident in state’s elections systems

“Your ballots count as long as they were cast, by the postmark date, if you put in the mail before 8:00 p.m.,” Hobbs said when asked about the integrity of the state’s elections.

Hobbs outlined problems in the Dino Rossi/Christine Gregoire race for governor in 2004. The results went back and forth for two weeks until Gregoire was declared the winner after a hand ballot count.

“The problem [was] those ballots were misplaced for a while until they were actually found,” he said. “And the good news is that led to several changes, at the legislative level and at the King County level, to ensure that that doesn’t happen again.”

Memories still raw of governor’s race in 2004

Hobbs left his state senate seat to replace Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Wyman left the job to take a key election security position in the Biden administration. Hobbs is now eyeing to fill the remaining two years of Wyman’s term.

State needs to do a better job communicating

“We have done a great job of telling people to vote and getting in their ballot,” Hobbs said. “What we haven’t done a good job of telling people is how your votes are processed and what happens to your ballot when you drop it in the mail, put it in the drop box.”

Hobbs encourages those who have doubts to physically visit the King County Elections Office.

“They want you there. And I encourage you to do it because a lot of these doubts will go away,” Hobbs said. “That’s why we’re launching a very large informational education program. We want to let people know what happens to your ballot after you cast it.

“I had a buddy of mine, Senator Mark Mullet, in the fifth legislative district, who won by 52 votes. So your vote does count,” Hobbs continued. “But you can’t sit idly by and complain if you didn’t vote, right? You have a stake in this democratic process. And so, yes, you should definitely cast that ballot.”

All sides welcome to see process

Gee Scott, co-host of the Gee and Ursula Show, asked if everybody can go and see the process or if only one side is allowed.

“Absolutely. Anyone can go. Gee and Ursula, you should go. We’ll have a cup of coffee,” Hobbs responded.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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WA Secretary of State stands by integrity of election process