• Pierce County auditor to comply with Democrats' demands over a ballot insert issue


    The Washington State Democratic Party announced on Thursday that it considered suing Pierce County over instructions issued about mailing deadlines for ballots.

    Democrats claim that Pierce County mailed ballots to about 484,000 voters in the county and included an insert that misstated the by-mail voting deadline, telling voters to mail in their ballots by Nov. 4, a full four days before the Nov. 8 deadline.

    Image of ballot date information.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Democrats worry that the error might suppress voter turnout. KIRO 7 News learned around 5 p.m. on Thursday that the Pierce County Auditor’s office will comply with Democrats demands, listed below, to avoid a lawsuit.

    KIRO 7 News’ Essex Porter attended the Democrats' news conference Thursday morning, and questioned Washington State Democratic Party chair Jaxon Ravens about whether he was questioning voters’ intelligence.

    “The question of their intelligence is not the issue here. The question is, is the county auditor doing her job?” Ravens said.

    The Pierce County auditor is standing by her advice to voters, even in the face of criticism by the Democratic candidate for secretary of state.

    In a letter the state party emailed to the auditor’s office, the Washington State Democrats party asked the office to do three things to properly inform voters:

    • By no later than November 1, 2016, send a supplementary mailer to every registered Pierce County voter, which clearly states that ballots may be postmarked up to and including November 8, 2016;
    • By no later than October 28, 2016, clearly and conspicuously post the correct deadline of November 8, 2016, on the Pierce County Auditor’s website and social media pages; and
    •  By no later than October 28, 2016, issue a press release clarifying that the correct deadline is November 8, 2016, and post this press release on the Pierce County Auditor’s website. 


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