Opinion

Watch for your ballots, some haven't received them | Editorial

A handful of Islanders have discovered — quite by surprise — that their names have been stricken from the rolls of voters in King County.

Some were longtime voters such as Rick Skillman, a former hospital CEO who has been registered to vote on Vashon for 17 years and got a postcard that he initially discarded because he thought it couldn’t possibly be true. Turns out that an error in the date of his birth somehow got entered on his voter card and he was suddenly no longer registered.

Other Vashon voters, including a woman who has been registered to vote since 1988, suddenly found their registrations were no longer valid. Skillman, in an email to The Beachcomber, said he couldn’t help but imagine that some kind of “dark force” was at play. “I fell into a little paranoia,” he said.

Meanwhile, The New York Times, in a piece published Oct. 14, found that Washington and Maryland’s computer-based voter-registration systems are quite vulnerable to manipulation by hackers. It took the Times less than three minutes to update the registrations of several prominent executives in Washington, the paper reported.

Is this what has happened with Skillman? We don’t know. But if you’re a registered voter and your ballot has yet to arrive in the mail, call King County Elections promptly. Something may be amiss.

 

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