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Priorities

Action Plan

01

Rebuild Election Confidence

First, I will clean up contradictory and irrelevant parts of the Washington Administrative Code. We have rules in place for logic and accuracy tests that were written for mechanical lever action voting machines, and not the modern digital scan systems. We need to use testing methods that provide confidence to the observers and users that their systems are performing correctly. I will evaluate current audit procedures for tabulation, as well as the methodologies used to clean up our voter registration roles. We have added many new laws to allow more convenient registration procedures for voters, while leaving in older laws and regulations that were in place when we had more restrictive registration rules. This has created a large number of ‘zombie’
registrants that add cost to elections (mailing ballots to registrants that don’t exist), erode election confidence (where are those ballots going?), and drives down voter turnout by falsely reporting real turnout (low turnout begets low turnout)

02

Emergency Preparedness

Second, I will work to improve our emergency preparedness for election administration. We currently have three counties in the State that do not have the legally required number of certified election administrators, and many others that have the bare minimum. Also most counties do not have the resources to have contingency planning for emergencies that might crop up during an election cycle. I served as such a safety valve in my consulting career, acting as an interim manager for two counites that lost theirs right before a big election (2020 Presidential Primary, 2020 General), and assisted two others in training recently hired managers in time for elections. There also is no backup for the physical equipment used to process elections in most counties. I plan to implement an equipment backup program at the SOS where vendors seeking certification of new equipment would be required to provide, at no cost, a backup of that equipment that will be retained by the SOS office as an emergency backup for any county that purchases that system.

03

Improve Voter Privacy 

Third, I will eliminate or change the current Presidential Primary system used in our state. We have always been an independent minded people here in Washington State, and we do not want to have to swear an oath of loyalty to a private organization in order to vote. Not only that, but we do not want to pay for a polling process for a private organization with taxpayer money. The parties argued in court that they were private organizations, with the right of free association. So we should hold them to their decision, and if they want us to conduct their elections, they should at least pay for them. We do not conduct elections for homeowners associations or co-op power companies.

04

Increase Transparency

Fourth, I will work to increase the transparency of our elections. In Colorado all ballot images are published and available for review after elections are certified. If any citizen wants to do their own manual recount, they can do so. Increased transparency like this will help remove many of the concerns about elections accuracy and tabulation errors. A voter could even make a unique watermark or identifier on their own ballot and see that it was processed to increase their peace of mind. I have worked with election systems vendors to implement a similar system, as voters want to know that their ballot made it not only into the election center, but was counted as they intended.

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