Seattle official says vote written on napkin is valid

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


A Seattle, Washington official recently told an election review panel that a vote submitted on a napkin is considered valid, leading some to question election integrity within the state. The statement was made during a recent election review board training session, as reported by The Post Millennial. 

During a discussion about ballots and what voting attempts should be considered invalid, the panel was shown an example in which a voter attempted to cast a vote in the Nov. 2021 elections by mailing in a newspaper clipping of an article about Democratic mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez. The example had a hand-written check mark beside Gonzalez’s name. The vote was deemed invalid because it only contained a checkmark, but would have been counted if the candidate’s name had been circled. 

This distinction prompted one panel member to ask, “So, even if someone took a napkin and wrote the office, the race, and their selection, that would be enough?” A King County official responded, “That would be enough and we would count that as a vote.” 

The exchange was captured on video and subsequently posted on Twitter by Post Millennial reporter Katie Daviscourt:

A document found on the state’s official website indicates that Washington is a “voter intent” state by law. “This means that voters are not disenfranchised if they mark a ballot differently than directed. When voter intent can be discerned, the vote will be counted,” it reads. 

“While other states across the country are passing strict voting laws through legislation, the state of Washington has the most slack voting policies in the nation,” Daviscourt said.

Former Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who authored the “voter intent” document, was recently appointed by President Biden as the Senior Election Security Lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency which is under the Department of Homeland Security. In her new role, Wyman is tasked with protecting election integrity against domestic and foreign interference. Wyman, a Republican, challenged former President Trump’s claims of election fraud in 2020.