Ballot Observers Needed!

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0

It’s Election Time…


… and observers are needed!


Have you ever wondered how ballots are collected from Lopez and Orcas?

The relevant law is found here: WAC 434-250-100: Ballot deposit sites.

On Lopez and orcas, the ballots are usually picked up two to three times per election. The Box can only be opened with two people present, per state law. They open the box, move the ballots into a secure container (see picture), sign the log with the proper ID number (corresponding to the seal) and place it INSIDE the container with the ballots, attach a padlock, and then secure a plastic seal (see picture). The seal has a number on it, and it must align with the log that is inside the container.

The key to this system is the seal. Much like a wax seal in the middle ages or the seal on a container of a yogurt/bottle of juice, it is very easy to see if the box has been tampered with — assuming it’s used properly. If the padlock is opened, the seal breaks. It cannot be resealed, whereas a padlock can simply be simply be closed. It would be like trying to make a ziptie look like you didn’t cut it.

In Friday Harbor they are kept in in a metal cage, only two official full time election workers have access to it. They must sign a log when doing so. It is kept out in the open at the elections office to help avoid impropriety.

Camolyn is the current elections supervisor following Doris’s retirement. She has been forthright and helpful. Their office agreed to observers when the ballots are picked up on Lopez and orcas. But we need people who are willing to do it.

We may also observe in Friday Harbor, though this is the least vulnerable part.




Padlock with numbered plastic seal; its the same thing that goes on the transfer container


 Transfer container



Voter’s guide found here.

The Big News in WA State politics was that the Seattle Times endorsed Republican Jinyoung Englund for state senate in the 45th legislative district. This district will play the pivotal role in determining which party has control of the state senate. It’s not too late to donate to Englund!

  • “…thank goodness the Republican-controlled Senate stood in the way of less responsible spending. As the state has scrambled to address the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision demanding more state money for education, Republicans forced some hard compromises to answer those demands.”
  • Read about their debate here.
  • Read the Englund campaign’s press release here on our website.

Republican Dino Rossi piles up cash advantage over Democrats to succeed U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th district. Keep in mind that the Democrats haven’t settled on one candidate, so it’s unclear how difficult a fight this will be. This is for 2018.

Q&A with San Juan County Public Hospital District 1 candidates (Journal)

Petition for public hospital district  [on Orcas] to go before council”

Draft county budget set; challenging, says auditor.” (Journal)

One county health insurer remains for individual plans” (Sounder)

Three of the five positions on the Orcas Island School District school board are being vacated, making room for new directors. The following candidates are running unopposed in the November election: Diane Boerstler, Joshua Culp and John Fleming.” (Sounder)

There are lots of letters, too many to note. You can find letters in the Journal hereSounder here, and Islands Weekly here, as well as “Senator Ranker endorses bond and levy

Does anybody miss the county calendar feature? Email me if you do.