Possible fraudulent election activity in Washington

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman reported possible fraudulent election activity to the Washington State Patrol after spotting suspicious signatures on four initiatives that were on the ballot this fall.

The signatures did not affect the final outcome of the ballot measures and they do not threaten the validity of the measures that were passed.

“However, we take fraudulent activity by initiative signature gatherers seriously,” Wyman said in a statement. “That’s why we have passed this onto the State Patrol for investigation of this matter.”

There were 96 petition sheets from seven different signatures gatherers that have signatures the office flagged, according to the office.

The signatures in question were on: I-1433, dealing with labor standards; I-1464, campaign finance laws and lobbyists; I-1491, extreme-risk protection orders and I-501, dealing with senior citizens. The only measure that didn’t pass was I-1464 during the general election.

The elections division looks for anything that stands out from what they normally see, such as a pattern of similar handwriting or the names being listed in alphabetical order.

“All four initiatives clearly had a sufficient number of valid signatures to qualify for the General Election, regardless of these questionable signatures, which is why they were certified last summer by our office to appear on the General Election ballot,” State Elections Division Director Lori Augino said in a statement.


Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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