The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 January 2005

Seattle Times: Scores of Felons Voted Illegally

The Seattle Times reports today that "scores of felons" voted illegally in November's election. Great work, but they go out of their way to assert that not all of the criminals they contacted voted for Gregoire!

Was it a good idea for the paper to actually approach the convicts or should they have stuck to the comparison check of felons vs. voter rolls? I think it depends on what questions they're asking.

So was the point of this story to show an incredibly flawed system that doesn't routinely or effectively purge convicts from the voting rolls, or to try to shoot down the GOP's Chelan County courtroom contentions by lobbing a grenade from Seattle?

Keep in mind, they uncovered only a small number of what is a statewide problem, so they haven't successfully undermined the Republican Party's legal strategy in fighting their gubernatorial election challenge.

(Seattle Times)

Scores of convicted felons voted illegally in the state's 2004 general election, and officials never noticed because of serious flaws in the system for tracking them, The Seattle Times has found.

The Times, reviewing felony convictions as far back as 1997, identified 129 felons in King and Pierce counties who were recorded as having voted in the Nov. 2 election. Another 23 likely voted. Several methods were used to confirm the findings.

Either the counties failed to flag or purge felons on the voter rolls as required by state law, or they allowed them to register without checking their status. Some were even mailed absentee ballots and returned them unchallenged.

After three vote counts in the race for governor, Gregoire was declared the winner by a record-close 129 votes over Republican Dino Rossi, fueling more than two months of controversy about how well — or poorly — the election was managed.


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