Election 2012: West Seattle voter reports odd phone message

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Helen, who wonders if anyone else got a call like this:

I got a most peculiar message on my land line last night. The message was from a young woman claiming to be with the King County Republican party, and she was calling to report that my ballot could not be counted because of a discrepancy with my signature. I didn’t listen to the rest of the message, but I found it very odd, especially since this came the day AFTER the election. I checked to ensure my ballot was received and counted here:


My ballot was indeed received, verified and counted.

This morning I called the King County elections office and reported this. The number that my caller ID caught was 425-679-9085. According to the person I spoke with, the elections office is getting a pretty good number of complaints about this number.

The point of my message is this: If you got a call from these people, PLEASE report it, I don’t care what your political affiliation is. What they’re doing is a federal crime.

We have a message out to King County Elections to ask about this. We also called the number Helen mentioned – and it went to a voicemail greeting that self-identifies as the King County Republican Party, saying they are “currently reminding voters to return their ballot” as part of a “Get Out the Vote” effort, though a crossreference via Google does not list the number as anything official. We left a message. The official number for KC GOP is listed on its website as (425) 990-0404, and we’re also contacting them through official channels to ask about it. We’ll update this later as we find out more.

10:38 AM UPDATE: No replies yet to any of the aforementioned inquiries, but commenters say they received similar inquiries from someone claiming to be with the Democratic Party. As Helen notes above, you can check the county Ballot Tracker – but note that if you didn’t drop off or mail your ballot until the last minute, it may not have shown up yet.

21 Replies to "Election 2012: West Seattle voter reports odd phone message"

  • george November 8, 2012 (9:47 am)

    Dropped ballot off at WS Stadium Tuesday morning. Still hasn’t been counted (but received). This is a better system?

  • Carolyn November 8, 2012 (10:01 am)

    I received a paper with the same type of message from the Democratic party stuffed in my door last night. I have checked the ballot tracker page, and my vote has been received and counted. I had also received from King County Elections via USPS a request for verification of my signature, signed the papers, and returned that to them.
    The number I was instructed to call is (206) 296-8683, and the gentleman that answered the phone said they have had a few calls this morning and what they think is happening is the parties responsible for the calls/flyers are trying to make lists of their own for future use of some sort. Thank you Helen for alerting us to this possible fraud situation.

  • old timer November 8, 2012 (10:01 am)

    K5 reported that 20,000 ballots were not counted for one reason or another, maybe this is a follow-up related thing.
    Where you sign your ballot envelope, you are supposed to put your phone number or email for just such an event.
    Who knows?

  • me November 8, 2012 (10:19 am)

    I got the same call but from the Wa. State Democrats. Not only did I get the call, but they came to my home yesterday (11/7) and pounded on my door for 20 minutes. I did not answer because I was in the shower. They left 2 letters in my mailbox that read in part –

    “Dear Voter, You are receiving this letter because your vote has not been counted and the outcome of this election hinges on you taking action immediately.”

    β€œA volunteer with the Washing State Democratic Party stopped by your house to make sure you are aware that records provided by the King Co. Auditor indicate your Ballot may have been Challenged, and you vote is currently not being counted in this election.”

    As I was leaving, I noticed a white minivan with 4 people and they appeared to be canvassing my neighborhood.

  • Euripides November 8, 2012 (11:35 am)

    Carolyn’s comment makes me think that the Dems may have been doing get out the vote: KC Dems probably noticed that her signature needed to be verified and wanted to be sure that she in fact went through the vote verification process so that her vote would be counted.

    That sounds different from the KC Reps, who called someone whose ballot had already been verified and counted. But why someone would call AFTER a ballot had already been counted is a mystery to me.

  • B November 8, 2012 (11:38 am)

    Just FYI, I dropped my ballot off at the truck at west seattle stadium around 6:30PM Tuesday. The website doesn’t show my ballot as being counted yet, and I called the K.C. elections office and they say they’re still processing a lot of ballots.

    Not sure if this system is ultimately better, but relatives in other states waited 3+ hours in line to vote, so it’s definitely easier!

  • Carolyn November 8, 2012 (12:04 pm)

    My signature HAD been verified via USPS mailing several days before the paper showed up on my door, and my vote has been counted.

  • me November 8, 2012 (12:32 pm)

    ^^^Same as mine

  • marty November 8, 2012 (12:42 pm)

    I’ll bet Bush is behind this!!

  • West Seattle since 1979 November 8, 2012 (1:58 pm)

    The van going around sounds like someone casing the neighborhood, unrelated to any political party but using the recent election as an excuse.

  • West Seattle since 1979 November 8, 2012 (2:01 pm)

    Also, I’d thought that if there was a problem with your ballot, someone from the King County elections office would contact you, not someone from one of the political parties. I could be wrong though.

  • Ajax November 8, 2012 (2:12 pm)

    I typically vote Democract, but I have to wonder how anyone can claim that the Dems doing this are on the up and up and the Repubs doing it are up to no good? My concern would be as to where either side is getting their information. Does King County let the parties pull voter status lists from their database while votes are still being counted?

    • WSB November 8, 2012 (2:28 pm)

      Ajax – The reply I got from King County Elections was fairly devoid of information but voter rolls ARE public information. And they include birthdates. All you need to look up a ballot status is a name and a birthdate.
      P.S. A little more info on the ballot-processing steps etc.:http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/voting/ballotlifecycle.aspx#step5

  • Carraig na Splinkeen November 8, 2012 (3:05 pm)

    Ditto on the KC GOP message to our phone yesterday. And we had already tracked our ballots, both of which were certified. Not sure what the deal is on this, but it feels creepy.

  • 44th Neighbor November 8, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    I sent mine a week before the election, and it’s been verified but not counted. Huh?!?

  • dcn November 8, 2012 (6:44 pm)

    I dropped mine off on Sunday at the van at the WS stadium, and today it finally showed up on ballot tracker as received, but it hasn’t been verified yet. I just figure they are backed up. I heard King County had some equipment failures on election night that slowed things down for a while. Hoping to see it verified by tomorrow. This just draws out the election drama for a longer period of time. I do miss being able to vote on election day at a local school.

  • Ajax November 8, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    I was more wondering whether they have to manually enter each voter’s name and birthdate to pull up their status or whether they can pull complete voter lists that includes status of ballots? If it’s a manual process, that’s a lot of work for something that’s going to get resolved eventually anyway.

  • DS November 8, 2012 (8:24 pm)

    I have been volunteering with the WA Dems, going to folks whose ballot signatures were challenged or not present on a ballot envelope. There has been some overlap with the auditor and I think people are being visited multiple times because data is not being updated quickly enough. It’s by no means a scam, but the Dems (and Reps) want to make sure all votes are counted. I think each party is contacting people who come up in the voter file as “likely Dems or Reps”. This was really important in the last Governor’s race, as Gregoire won by around 100 votes. Annoying yes, but we just want to make sure all votes count!

  • KD November 8, 2012 (8:32 pm)

    Marty; it’s the Bush/Rove/Cheney AND Trump conspirisy.. for sure! (They just can’t get over it!) Bwahahahahahaha!!!

  • Dale November 9, 2012 (9:59 am)

    My ballot has been received and signature verified but not counted yet. That’s odd given I mailed it in October 22nd.

    • WSB November 9, 2012 (10:28 am)

      I am checking this but I do not believe you will get a “we counted your ballot.” Signature verification is step three and last of what they tell you they’ve done.

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