The Secretary of State‘s office sent a letter to state party chairs and gubernatorial campaign managers today asking for the names of any voters whose ballots are collected by political parties.
The move comes after reports that state Republicans are using “GOP Victory Vans” to collect ballots as part of their “get-out-the-vote” strategy in King County. Republican party employees and volunteers are knocking on doors of Republican voters and offering to turn in ballots on their behalf.
The tactic isn’t illegal, but it’s been discouraged by the King County elections director.
Katie Blinn, co-director of elections, is requiring that the parties submit the names and addresses of voters whose ballots are collected by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Blinn said in the letter: “If an organization fails to submit a voter registration application or ballot declaration to the elections office, the voter usually has the opportunity to learn of this failure early enough to submit another application or declaration before the deadline. But if an organization fails to submit a voter’s ballot by the 8:00 p.m. deadline, the voter has no opportunity to submit another ballot. The result is disenfranchisement.”
State Democrats have criticized the effort, and said in a response letter to the secretary of state’s office that they are not participating in the “ill-advised activity.”