Ross: Make sure to sign your ballot properly to get your vote counted

Nov 3, 2022, 8:04 AM | Updated: 3:54 pm

ballot ballots...

King County Elections workers process ballots at King County Elections headquarters on November 3, 2020 in Renton, Washington. Washington state is on track to set a record for voter turnout this year. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

We are now seven days into the ballot collection process, and a clear trend has emerged. The older you are, the more likely you’ve already voted. For voters 18-24, only about 8% of the ballots have been sent in, but for voters 65-plus, close to 48% have already voted.

Across all ages, about one-quarter of all registered voters have had their votes counted as of now.

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The county with the highest turnout so far – bucolic Jefferson County – spanning the majestic Olympic Peninsula from Port Townsend to the coast: Of the 27,000 registered voters there, 43% have already sent in their ballots.

But there is one disturbing trend. Across the state, thousands of votes – 17,160 as of now – have been rejected temporarily because people either did not sign the envelope or their signatures didn’t match what the state has on file.

And before anybody says, “aha! That’s where the vote fraud comes in” – we actually know who these people are.

Checking the King County list, I see that a ballot from Danielle in Seattle has a signature that didn’t match, same for Robert in Kirkland, James in Redmond, and Seth in Auburn. Kevin in Issaquah didn’t sign his envelope at all!

There’s also Lacy in Burien, whose ballot was rejected because her voter registration failed the ID check, and she will have to provide a valid ID before her ballot can be counted. (So yes, there is an ID check.) And then there’s the case of Christopher in Shoreline, whose ballot was rejected with the simple note: “deceased.” So yes – for those wondering about dead people voting – the computers check for that too.

All of these people, except, sad to say, that last person, will be getting a call from an elections official asking them to prove who they are. If they can’t, the envelope is not opened, and the ballot does not count.

You can avoid these problems by checking one last time that you’ve signed your ballot and that you’re signing it with the signature you used when you registered.

I don’t know how it can get more transparent than this, and actually – I can see where some of you might think it’s too transparent. You obviously can’t find out how people voted, but— anybody can find out who’s voted and which ballots have problems.

And if you see something fishy, you don’t have to pick up a sign and protest; you can call the county elections department and file a challenge.

And if you haven’t voted yet, you might also want to check the list to make sure no one has stolen your identity and voted pretending to be you! And if any of you do find evidence of outright voter fraud – don’t just call the state – feel free to call us too. Heck – it might get you a cameo at Donald Trump’s campaign kickoff – which I’m guessing will be Wednesday.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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