Snohomish County Auditor on Underage Voters

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A couple of weeks ago I noted that the EFF filed suit against the Washington Secretary of State regarding underage voters. I noticed three of the voters on the list were from my county, so I contacted my county auditor, Carolyn Weikel*, and asked her about them. She was confused too, but did some research and got back to me today.

It turns out that all three were not registered with Snohomish County, despite being listed as registered with the state. The state will accept registration information, and pass it along to the county, which will then verify the information, accept it into the database (or not), and pass the information back up to the state. And Weikel told me that she wants the information, even for an underage voter: the county wants to have the control. And in these three cases, the controls worked. One was set as a "fatal pend" (election-speak for an ineligible registration) and the other two had been deleted.

It seems like what didn't quite work properly, if I understood correctly, is that some of the information didn't get back up to the state properly, or at least not very quickly. There will be temporary disrepancies between the state and county databases. Those three voters shouldn't have been in the state database (and I believe they no longer are, though whether it's because the county sent up information causing their removal, or the state was responding to the EFF's posting of the list of voters, I don't know), but what's important is that they are not registered with the county, and the county keeps the canonical database for its voters, not the state.

So the bottom line is that while there do seem to be some problems, at least in Snohomish County, those voters were not properly registered (despite what the state database said) and were never going to receive ballots.

* For those of you who may not recognize the name, Carolyn Diepenbrock was recently married, and has changed her name. Congratulations, Carolyn!

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