From Mail-In Ballots to Mail-In Napkins, Some States Resist Voter Integrity Efforts

Following Washington State Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s acceptance of a position in the Biden administration (overseeing election security), Americans are learning that election integrity is about more than the alleged covert and overt efforts at election fraud that concern voters.

KOMO 4 News reported, in Washington state, if a voter sent in a “vote” written on a napkin, it would be counted. During a state election review board, officials discussed various questionable votes to educate trainees about what the state believes qualifies as a valid vote.

One vote was in an envelope containing no official ballot. Instead, it appeared to be a standard sheet of computer paper with a photo of Seattle Democrat mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez displayed at the top, followed by a newspaper article about her, and, at the bottom, what looked like a “V” or a checkmark with a “+” above it.

Officials told the trainees the state would not count this attempted vote cast during the November 2021 elections. They said they would not count it “because the voter did not have Gonzalez’s name circled on the clipping….”

The disparity between how the state treated this vote and the vote described below might lead voters to wonder if the system is arbitrary.

A trainee asked, “So, even if someone took a napkin and wrote the office, the race, and their selection, that would be enough?”

“That would be enough, and we would count that as a vote,” said an election official.

Post Millennial Reporter Katie Daviscourt wrote about the exchange captured on video and posted it to social media.


Not only has Washington been an all-mail-in ballot state for years, but it is also, by state law, a “voter intent” state. Former Secretary of State Wyman wrote in a document explaining the law, “Stated simply, when voter intent can be discerned, the vote will be counted.” She described it as “a firm policy of making every effort to count each valid vote.”

Daviscourt wrote, “While other states across the country are passing strict voting laws through legislation, the state of Washington has the most slack voting policies in the nation.”

Many Washington voters have become frustrated with the state’s election laws, expressing their irritation with its refusal to audit its election system.

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