First off – as of tonight, the returns in the 22nd Legislative District have me in the lead with 59.31 percent of the vote. Thank you to everyone who cast a ballot – and thank you in particular to everyone who voted for me. I appreciate your support!
Last week, President Trump used his Twitter account to suggest that the November election be delayed. This continues his ongoing attack on our voting rights. Despite plans to vote by absentee himself, the President has also suggested that vote-by-mail, his also continues to impugn vote-by-mail as unsecure and is working hard to prevent other Americans from using the Postal Service to send in their ballots during a worldwide pandemic. I’m particularly disappointed President Trump chose the day the nation is honoring the late Congressman John Lewis, an icon for voting rights, to make these outrageous assertions.
I find it disturbing that the President chose to make this attack on our election on the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the U.S. economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate from April through June, its worst drop on record. Our voting rights should not be a convenient distraction from the very real economic crisis we are facing.
I want to re-assure my constituents – and my fellow Americans – that vote-by-mail is safe and secure. Washington has voted by mail for many years. There have been no claims of, or convictions, for the massive voter fraud the President talks about. With numerous states turning to vote by mail in this year’s primary elections there has again been no evidence of fraud or inaccuracy. Nationally, according to National Public Radio, voter fraud associated with mail-in ballots over the past 20 years is 0.00006%.
When your ballot arrives in the mail, you can be confident the vote by mail process is safe, secure and accurate. When it is mailed or deposited in one of the many secure ballot drop boxes, the ballot goes to the county elections office where each voter’s signature and name is verified by matching them with the statewide voter data base. Only after signature and voter identification is verified does the ballot get counted. Each and every verified mail-in vote will be counted, and there will be no health risks associated with having to stand in long lines at a polling place.
As chair of the Washington Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections Committee, I have worked hard to make voting accessible for all eligible voters in our state. I believe the right to vote on who represents us in our government is one of our most precious rights. I am committed to protecting your right to vote. I hope you’ll use this right in November!