Tuesday, for the first time in my life, I voted absentee, because I was forced to, in the Fire District 18 vote.
No one told me this was happening. Indeed, I recently attended a meeting where County Auditor Bob Terwilliger and Election Manager Carolyn Diepenbrock talked to us about the upcoming election changes. They told us that mandatory absentee voting would begin with this year's primary. So when the absentee ballots came to my house, I very nearly threw them away, trusting the word of our elected official.
But to make sure, I first emailed Diepenbrock, who informed me that she had misinformed me. When I asked why no one had bothered to tell us we were forced to vote by absentee, she said the Fire District was going to do that. Well, I have the literature from the Fire District -- passed out at the annual pancake breakfast I attended, and when the firemen walked door-to-door -- and it says nothing about it.
I wonder how many poll voters were disenfranchised Tuesday due to this misinformation and lack of notice, and I wonder if the county will do its duty to investigate and hold Terwilliger responsible.
Update: Because of the misinformation, lack of notice, and incompetence of the County Auditor, my wife and I cannot vote.
We have no stamps, and my wife has an infant and four-year-old with her, and can't wait in line to get them. So, as the ballot envelope said we could, she went to drop off our ballots at the polling place. But the envelope was wrong: none of our local polling places have dropoff locations. My wife called the county auditor's offce, who said we could go to Lake Stevens or Stanwood to drop off the ballots, but they have no directions to either location.
Or, she can lug the kids down to the County Auditor's office, presumably, although they did not give this to her as an option. And it's too far for them to go anyway.
If anyone cares, we had marked our ballots to approve of the levy increase, not that it matters, since our votes won't be counted.
If I can get any help, I plan to sue to have the election thrown out.