Washington State Voters Unhappy With Mail In Ballot Requirement

Some voters in Washington state are unhappy and even angry that they have to mark their party affiliation on their mail-in ballots ahead of Republican and Democrat primaries.

This may have to do with a mistrust of how mail-in ballots are received and counted. Many people don’t trust our current election system, whether they’re on the Left or Right side of the political aisle.

But Washington state residents have been required to designate their party affiliation on mail-in ballots for primary elections since at least 2016.

Here’s where things don’t add up: Washington state law requires that voters make their party declaration known on the outside of mail-in ballots, even if they consider themselves an Independent. But they are not required to present voter ID for mail-in ballots for primary elections or Presidential elections.

But Jason Rantz, a reporter for KTTH, a Fox News radio station based in Seattle, says that mail-in ballots were designed with the requirement for party identification for two reasons.

“The state does not have party voter registration making it difficult to track who should be targeted with mailers,” he said. “Both Republicans and Democrats want to spend dollars wisely, sending the right campaign literature to the voters most likely to support their respective candidates.”

He also stated that the party affiliation requirement was necessary, so votes could be sorted before they were counted. And here’s the catch for those who don’t mark an affiliation with either the Republican or Democratic Party on their mail-in ballot: Their vote will not count.

Even with that being the case, many decided to do this during the 2020 primary election cycle in Washington. In fact, more than 36,000 votes were nullified back then. Republican Washington state senator Steve O’Ban sponsored a bill that would have had greater measures for privacy when it comes to mail-in votes. To see the details of that bill, click below.

The bill unfortunately never became law, which means that voter privacy will still be in issue in 2024. But many chose to use ballot drop boxes back in 2020.

Although voting by mail and ballot drop boxes are two options to cast one’s vote, nothing beats voting in person. It will be interesting to see if mail-in voting undergoes any changes in this voting cycle or any future voting cycles. But one thing’s for certain: More and more people are becoming fed up with mail-in ballots. They know something isn’t right with the process.