Snohomish becomes 35th WA county to move to all mail-in elections

Snohomish County is the latest WA county to move to all mail-in elections.

In a 3-2 split, Democrat county Councilmen Kirke Sievers, Dave Gossett and Dave Somers this morning outvoted Republican Councilmen Gary Nelson and John Koster.

The council made the move to avoid a state mandate to purchase machines to provide a paper audit trail for those who voted at the polls. That would have cost $860,000, plus ongoing storage costs.

Like King County, Snohomish will set up regional dropoff points on election day where voters can deposit their ballots in person. 35 of the state’s 39 counties have either switched to all mail-in voting, or have announced plans to do so.

On a related note, King County Elections has posted a PDF of the Election Center Report evaluating their performance during the November, 2005 election. It’s really detailed, so I haven’t had time to more than skim it, but it’s certainly far from the “shoddy” effort alleged by some OCD bloggers on the right.


  1. 3

    sgmmac spews:

    Bell Towner,

    There is nothing to worry about there. It will be what they think is best for you.

  2. 4

    K spews:

    I will miss taking my kids to the polls to watch me vote.

    Oh well, they’re teens anyway and won’t come!

  3. 5

    The Rambling Taoist spews:

    I just moved to Washington from Oregon. I was looking forward to again having the piviledge of going to the polls to vote. No, I find my new state is following Oregon’s lead. Yuk!

  4. 6

    thomas spews:

    big deal…how much was spent on the current machines we just got….what security measures are being taken to keep, votes legal, and I don’t mean King County, if you can’t find a body, or a gun it must be legal, tee hee….

  5. 7

    klake spews:

    Voting by mail? We’re going STRAIGHT TO HELL!

    Comment by Belltowner— 1/4/06 @ 4:58 pm

    Bell Towner,

    There is nothing to worry about there. It will be what they think is best for you.

    Comment by sgmmac— 1/4/06 @ 5:18 pm

    Two true statements? yea!

  6. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Sequoia can kiss their $5 million Snohomish County contract goodbye, and good shuttance!

  7. 10

    Tom Johnson spews:

    Democracy in action — since over 50 per cent already use mail in ballots, it is a defacto referendum on the issue.

    I don’t know a single person who still goes to a polling place.

  8. 11

    Emily spews:

    Every time I hear the radio news tell me that Snohomish County will adopt “all male voting”, I wonder how they can get away with with, what with the 19th Amendment and all. Then I think, “never mind.”

  9. 12

    Ken In Seattle spews:

    I read the pdf (probably to see if they really wrote down the suggestions I made) since I was one of the observers. I suspected they would ignore the points made by observers from both parties concerning GEMS/DIMS and the memory cards. They repeated the same assertion we received from the IT staff that the memory cards were “secure” since a “hash” was used to verify the card was not tampered with. I laughed at this when I heard it but the auditors just nodded and wrote it down.

    The example test given by the IT guys was that they sent out some set up for testing by mistake and the GEMS server refused to communicate with them…

    Any local programmers should see the humor of this anecdote.

    Read the details of the Hursti hack in Leon Co FL for more info.

    The Vance inspired suggestions to change the state from a “voter intent” state to a “strict coloring book grading” state was faithfully reproduced in the report.

    The core concept made clear by this report as well as my own conversations with the authors is clear. They have implicit trust in computers in general and Diebold in particular.

    The rest of the reccomendations are mostly on target, especially the need for a central facility, but the essential mootness of locking the front door while the diebold burgulars are potentially filling a uhaul at the back should be noted.