How about we get a government big enough, strong enough, and smart enough to protect your right to vote?

Oy.  Here’s a doozy from the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate newsletter:

Washingtonians who recently registered to vote using the Department of Licensing’s website may not have actually been added to the rolls, the Secretary of State’s office disclosed today in a late afternoon media advisory.

The Department of Licensing, which issues driver’s licenses, vehicle licenses, and boat licenses, allows voters to request that their voter registration be updated when they update their driver’s license. DOL also allows Washingtonians to register to vote when obtaining a license through its website.

But apparently, DOL hasn’t been forwarding these new and updated voter registrations to the Secretary of State’s office. Until last Friday, that is.

The Secretary of State’s office says a total of 21,000 voters may potentially be affected in some way by the blunder.

Here’s a more detailed explanation from co-elections director Katie Blinn:

When people update their address for their driver’s license with the state Department of Licensing, they can also request to update their address for voter registration purposes. This program is commonly known as Motor-Voter. DOL recently added a question about voter registration to its address update page on its website. However, the Secretary of State’s office has not been receiving these voter registration updates from DOL, and therefore has not been able to pass these updates on to the county elections offices. The Secretary of State’s Office just received the information Friday evening, just two business days before Election Day.

Obviously, ballots have already been mailed to voters, so this is a problem. The question is… how big of a problem?

Approximately 14,800 address updates were submitted to DOL that were not received by the Secretary of State’s Office. However, we think that county elections offices had already received some of these address changes due to voters contacting the elections office directly, or receiving address update information from the Post Office.

We think? Wouldn’t it be better to know for sure?

An additional 5,900 people requested to update their voter registration information on the DOL website, but were not previously registered. The information previously provided by the DOL address update system is not sufficient to complete a new voter registration so these people will be receiving a notice from their county elections office asking them to complete the registration. They can respond to the notice or fill out a new voter registration form. If anyone wants to vote in this General Election, they can go to their county elections office to vote a provisional ballot and complete the registration.

Great. So that means nearly six thousand people who thought they’d done what they needed to do to be added to the rolls didn’t actually get added, and now they’re going to have jump through more hoops in order to vote.

KING-TV Channel 5 points out a dispute between two arms of the state government, each giving different versions of the story behind why the 21,000 Washingtonians didn’t get their ballots as required by law.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

WA Secretary of State: As many as 21,000 ballot…, posted with vodpod

Is this the result of years of budget cuts?  Have we finally cut even great state governments like Washington to the point that they cannot even get the ballots out anymore?

Time to stop cutting government budgets, eh?

5 Responses to How about we get a government big enough, strong enough, and smart enough to protect your right to vote?

  1. You’re right, I’m getting way off the subject. What I guess I’m saying is that we don’t need to get larger to protect the vote, we need to return to integrity and individual responsibility sans the bully gov. coming to solve our every want.


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Even lazy peoples’ right to vote should be protected. This isn’t about lazy, it’s about voting.

    Union members lazy? They crushed Gov. Kasich, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and the Koch Bros. in Ohio tonight. It’s a lot of hard work to defeat millions in P.R. campaign funds against you.


  3. Kathryn, I do happen to agree with you for the most part. Although I am a smoker, I don’t feel the need to smoke when I work, I do disagree, however, that I see a huge number of office staff and production workers who come no where near being as productive as so many who came before them but handed them a legacy of ” I don’t want you to have to work as hard as I did and I want you to be paid better for less work:” a cause taken up by most unions and bargaining units. IE. I strongly believe we are softer today than in years past or “Lazy” if we think we can get by with it.


  4. Kathryn says:

    I can’t tell you how glad I am that my co-workers cannot smoke inside the office. I don’t know what kind of working world you want to go back to, but offices filled with smoke and workers chained to their desks sounds like something out of Dickens. All desk job drones (and I’m one of them) should take cues from the smokers. We need to get up from our chairs and take short breaks and walk around. It is incredibly unhealthy to sit for hours at a time. My experience has been that most people work as hard at their desk jobs as they ever did. Slackers have always been with us and always will be, regardless of whether workers take breaks to smoke or take breaks to move the blood out of their legs and back into their brains.


  5. My one concern with reducing the size of government is where are all the displaced workers going to go, and what a horrible drain on our unemployment rolls, not to mention the way it will inflate the unemployment numbers. My impression is that a number of office work places are grossly over staffed if the employees were actually working as hard today (per hour) as they did 40 years ago. Also, consider this: 40 years ago people used to be able to smoke at their desk so they didn’t require frequent smoke breaks and they were more content with sitting at their desk and getting the Job done. ie Gov. regulation didn’t stand in the way of a Job Well Done. Just a thought.


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