Ballot-collecting ‘GOP Victory Vans' causing controversy

SEATTLE — A big controversy is brewing about a new Republican tactic to collect ballots from King County voters.

Democrats are crying foul and election officials are urging people to use authorized drop-off locations.

Republicans have placed “GOP Victory Vans” in shopping center parking lots to collect ballots.

Elections officials said they’ve heard reports about the new GOP “get-out-the-vote” tactic but don’t know how many voters have entrusted their ballots to the party.

King County Republicans said that they have collected about 100 ballots so far, and that door-to-door canvassers are offering to deliver voters’ ballots to official drop boxes.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna described the effort.

“We call people. Actually, we don't knock on random doors. We're calling people who haven't sent their ballots in, and if they want us to come over to pick up their ballots, we do so. We don't show up unannounced in the same way some of the Democratic activists do,” said McKenna.

Elections officials said there’s no crime in offering to deliver someone’s ballot; only if the ballot is not delivered.

Voter Barbara Danford used an official drop box Sunday and said she didn’t like the idea of handing her ballot to someone unofficial.

“I don't think that's appropriate at all.  I think the individual has to do it personally,” said Danford.

Find a list of official King County ballot drop boxes and vans here.