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Glitches in VoteWa System For Candidate Filing

13 May 2020 11:01 AM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

 if you file to run for office please read this letter from the washington democrats!

Glitches in VoteWA system cause some PCOs not to include Party Affiliation.

Payment issues for filing fees for non-PCOs may be wrong and confirmations not sent to candidates. 

Everyone who has filed needs to verify their candidate info—including party affiliation.

If filing fee was required for the office, verify you were not overcharged. 

From: Tina Podlodowski <tina@wa-democrats.org>
Date: May 13, 2020 at 7:44:16 AM PDT
To: "wsdcc@wa-democrats.org" <wsdcc@wa-democrats.org>, "exec@wa-democrats.org" <exec@wa-democrats.org>, "cvc@wa-democrats.org" <cvc@wa-democrats.org>
Cc: CC All Staff <coordinated@wa-democrats.org>, Staff <staff@wa-democrats.org>
Subject: Please READ Round 2 on the VoteWA System

Dear Democrats,

I’m bumping up the email I sent below regarding problems with the PCO Filing Process and the VoteWA system developed by the SoS. Please let us know if you are still seeing problems today and please do take screenshots of your issues and concerns.

You can send those to: data@wa-democrats.org and PLEASE make sure you put “VoteWA Issue” as the subject line so we can sort these issues properly.

Additional issues have also been uncovered with the VoteWA system:

1) Payment issues for Filing Fees - candidates have been charged multiple times for Filing fees. Please let us know if you have, or know a candidate who has experienced this.

2) Filings not showing up - many candidates are not receiving confirmations of their filings - the “queuing system” for approval is not properly working for County Auditors.

It’s clear the system was not properly tested before rolling it out - as several County Auditors have been pointing out for months, as there have also been issue not yet disclosed to either Washington voters or press, but apparently commonly known by the SoS.

VoteWa is not part of the election tabulation system, however, IT DOES do our voter registrations, leading me to have quite diminished faith in the system's ability to function properly.

I’ll be sending a letter to the office of the SoS later today to ask for a full and public accounting of ALL the issues related to VoteWA.

Thank you so much for all you do, and again, please let us know about the issues you are seeing.

Be well and stay safe,


Tina Podlodowski, Chair, Washington State Democrats


For Scheduling Contact Anna Le (anna@wa-democrats.org|206-583-0664 x110

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Begin forwarded message:

From: Tina Podlodowski <tina@wa-democrats.org>

Subject: Please READ - WHAT is going on with the PCO Filing Process!

Date: May 12, 2020 at 7:42:03 PM PDT

To: wsdcc@wa-democrats.orgexec@wa-democrats.orgcvc@wa-democrats.org

Cc: CC All Staff <coordinated@wa-democrats.org>, Staff <staff@wa-democrats.org>

Dear Democrats,

As you likely know by now, if you, or people in your district, filed for a PCO position on Monday or Tuesday of this week, you should have received an email saying you need to REFILE for that office. 

It’s true, and here is why: the office of the SoS made a serious error in their VoteWA system in the filing process for PCO, and we (state Dems) pointed it out to them. Here’s the story:

On Monday we received reports that SoS’s VoteWA system was accepting Democratic Precinct Committee Officer candidacy filings that did not comply with WAC 434-215-021.  The filings MUST require a candidate to affirmatively state and declare that they are a member of of either the Republican or Democratic Party - otherwise, the PCO election(s) would be declared constitutionally unlawful. (And those “reporters" included people like me, David McDonald, JulieAnne Kempf and various other chairs and party officials who are well-acquainted with the relevant WAC.)

We immediately raised the issue with the office of the SoS - a government agency assuming or deciding who is or is not a Democrat or Republican is exactly what would make the election unconstitutional.

There is a reason why the filing form for precinct committee officer is different than the form for any other elected office.  Precinct Committee Officers are officers of the Democratic Party (or the GOP).  They directly elect other Party officers, including County and Legislative District Chairs and the members of our State Committee.  Precinct committee officers are the group charged under our state’s constitution with preparing the list of nominees to fill vacancies in partisan office.   

It is not consistent with the Party’s First Amendment right of association for the state to allow non-members of the Party (voters) to select precinct committee officers who are also non-members of the Party.  And, to be explicitly clear, there was not a place on the VoteWA on-line filing system that required a candidate to affirm that they are indeed a member of the Democratic or Republican Party.

The office of the SoS should have known better, and in consultation with the WA Solicitor General’s office they concluded that we were correct.

THAT is why you are seeing email notes to refile if you filed for PCO on Monday or Tuesday. Sadly, we are still getting reports that the VoteWA system - over a year old and in my personal opinion never properly tested or functional - is still “broken” this evening, and now only accepting filing for GOP PCOs. We hope to see that fixed shortly.

Additionally, in Benton County GOP Rep Bill Jenkins BOTH filed for State Senate in the 16th LD as a Republican, AND as a Democratic PCO in Precinct 2404 in the 16th. Obviously, there was seemingly no safeguard in the system to disallow this in the first place, and, without a declaration no mechanism to disallowed this filing afterwards. Same for Don Landsman in the 8th CD, who filed in both the GOP and Dem PCOs races in Precinct 6105.

Again, a VoteWA System that in my personal opinion was never properly tested, and I have many worries about the ultimate functionality of the system at the County level. But that’s an issue for tomorrow.

For tonight, and for tomorrow too, please prep folks to REFILE for PCO - I would wait until the morning to do so to make certain that the errors have been corrected in the system,

THANK YOU - and please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Stay well, Tina

Oh, and PS - for heavens sake elect Gael Tarleton https://www.voteforgael.org

Tina Podlodowski, Chair, Washington State Democrats


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