Local

No charges filed in Seattle ballot drop box surveillance cases

The King County Sheriff’s Office has declined to file charges in the investigation of signs indicating surveillance of ballot drop boxes, according to the Seattle Times.

According to the report, released to the Seattle Times and Northwest News Network, the case remains open in case evidence of voter intimidation emerges.

The case was also forwarded to the FBI.

In July, King County Elections officials said “intimidating” signs were placed near ballot drop boxes in King County and they appeared to be an effort to dissuade voters from using the boxes.

According to the county’s election director, the signs are illegal at both the state and federal levels.

The signs, placed near the drop boxes, said in red letters, “This ballot dropbox is under surveillance.”

At the bottom of each sign was a QR code provided to report suspicious activity, linking to the King County Republican Party’s website.

Michael Patrick Thomas, chair of the King County Republican Party, said party officials were unaware of the signs, which were created by a “self-appointed committee, which calls itself the KCGOP Election Integrity Committee has acted outside of its authority and without the express knowledge, permission, or consent of the King County Republican Party.”

Thomas has dissolved the committee and requested that all signs be picked up.

County elections officials said they won’t stand for intimidation or scare tactics.

King County Elections Director Julie Wise said her team documented and removed the signs. Wise said any information about who placed them was referred to the sheriff’s office.

“Signs intended to make voters feel like they are being watched and monitored and violating the law by depositing ballots is voter intimidation, period,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.