Ross: With 8,000 challenged ballots, don’t have a sloppy signature

Nov 7, 2022, 7:37 AM | Updated: 8:18 am

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 have a lot of experience with vote-by-mail here in Washington, so I apologize if you’ve heard this before, but – this is no time to get sloppy, especially if you’re a procrastinator.

I want your vote to count, and if you’re in a rush, you risk screwing it up.

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I checked the King County numbers for the last off-year election in 2018. That year in King County, 13,233 ballots were challenged and canceled, as in not counted.

About 3,000 were canceled because they were mailed in and arrived too late.

But most were canceled because the signatures didn’t match – or there was no signature at all!

Don’t let that happen.

Number one — if you haven’t mailed your ballot yet, don’t mail it! Go to a drop box. All the drop box locations are listed in the voter’s pamphlet.

Number two — as rushed as you may be, don’t just dash off a sloppy signature. Sign it with the same care as you signed your registration form.

Checking the ballot return statistics in the current election, I see that the King County challenge rate is running ahead of four years ago. Already, close to 8,000 ballots have been challenged – just in King County. And if this rate holds, based on a 76% turnout (which is what we had in 2018) and the larger voting pool – if the challenge rate remains at this level, we will end this election with over twenty thousand challenged ballots.

Again, that’s just in King County.

So sign the ballot, sign it carefully, use the drop boxes – and one more thing.

Keep in mind that every signature challenge requires an election worker to contact the voter to fix it.

I don’t know how big the call center is, but it seems to me that 20,000 voter contacts could take some time. So if there are any really close races in King County, I am bracing for the possibility of extra innings.

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Ross: With 8,000 challenged ballots, don’t have a sloppy signature