McKenna ballot chaser gets slightly less than expected from GOP

Vancouver’s Fred Swink, who waited six months to be paid for helping Rob McKenna’s gubernatorial campaign, says he did receive a check in the mail from the state Republican Party, but the check was less than he expected.

Swink said he was recruited by McKenna’s campaign by email to chase ballots during the final two days of the 2012 November election. He was asked to work two, 12-hour days (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) by going into the community and reminding voters to mail in their ballots. The pay promised in the email was $10 an hour and a $50 gas card for each day.

He was already given one gas card so, according to the email, he technically should get up to $290. His check? $195.

The GOP’s records logged different hours than those Swink said he worked. Regardless, Swink said he won’t try to get the rest of the money.

“I’m tired of fighting,” he said by email. “The other workers seem content, so I am done.”

Those other workers were the reason Swink started his months-long struggle to get the pay he was promised. He estimated that about 20 ballot chasers from Clark County worked during those two days and also had to wait months to be paid. To many of them, a couple hundred dollars is a lot of money, he said.

McKenna’s campaign and the state GOP thought the Clark County Republican Party was going to pay the ballot chasers, but the county party said they hadn’t agreed to that, and that they simply didn’t have the cash. The Clark County Republican Party eventually worked with the state GOP to get checks to the ballot chasers.

The GOP paid Swink based on what their records showed, state party spokesman Keith Schipper said.

“No one else from Clark County has complained,” Schipper said. “We’re glad that it’s all fixed and we were able to take care of folks.”

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu is a political writer at The Columbian. Contact her at 360-735-4523 or or or

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