Tolling County Votes: Once, Twice, Nada?


One voter's two mail ballots (KOMO)

As SW recently reported, and our news partner KOMO-TV is reminding viewers today, more than 9,000 mail ballots in the August King County primary election were invalidated and thrown out due to voter error alone. (About 3,500 of 248,000 absentees have been rejected so far, including Michael Kinsley's). If those problems persist, and with more than 750,000 mail ballots issued, who knows how many thousands of votes could be tossed from the Nov. 4 election.

Though county officials told me in September that all their new systems were up and running and they expected few problems with their tabulating process, the county has just announced it won't be using some important high-speed tallying equipment after all, leaving as much as 60 percent of the vote uncounted election night. It's due to lack of federal validation of the new system - even though the county has had four years to fix this.

Thus the winner in another close governor's race might not be known for days, and it could be a questionable victory resulting from the exclusion of thousands of well-intended voters. Or, as KOMO reports, the inclusion of those who vote early and often.

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