Local voters left without ballots due to software malfunction

A software error left over 80 local voters without a ballot this election.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman issued a release on Tuesday in response to the announcement from the Department of Licensing that a malfunction within a software system left thousands of voters without an opportunity to participate in the February Election.

According to a release, just fewer than 7,000 people who had thought they had registered to vote through the Department of Licensing were not registered.

Secretary Wyman said, “Our office identified nearly 7,000 applicants who need to be added to the voter rolls and issued a ballot. We are working closely with county election officials to ensure that these voters receive their February ballot in time for next week’s election.

According to Grays Harbor County Auditor Chris Thomas, this error impacted approximately 83 local residents without a ballot so far, although new issued ballots should be in the mail no later than today.

Despite the setback into the 18 day voting period, those voters are still required to return their ballot by Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

According to Thomas, the error was discovered when the Secretary of State and DOL learned that when some customers changed their name (with or without an address change), and were assigned a new driver license number, those changes were made in DOL’s system but were not transmitted to OSOS’s system.

Department of Licensing Director Pat Kohler said that an initial error detected in December, but was believed to be due to human error. It wasn’t until late January that it was clear that a coding error meant that thousands of names weren’t being transmitted to the secretary of state’s office.

A fix to the error in the software was put into place January 30.

Kohler said DOL appreciates the partnership of the OSOS in this situation, and their willingness to work toward a solution. DOL will also reimburse County Auditors for the cost of mailing ballots to affected voters that didn’t receive ballots.

Wyman added, “We are also conducting additional analysis to ensure – for all individuals who choose to register through DOL from this point forward – that the data is transferred to us so those applicants can be registered to vote. Those tests will be ongoing and conducted on a daily basis.”

Voters can verify their address, name and registration information at http://myvote.wa.gov.

Questions or concerns about voter status can be directed to the Scott Turnbull Grays Harbor Elections Administrator Grays Harbor county office at 360.964-1556.

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