Letters to the Editor

BallotTracker violates the law

No wonder there is confusion about barcodes on ballots: our elections supervisor and her A-Team staff are spreading it! (Journal and Sounder, Aug. 13).

I have been a trained election judge and A-Team member for almost 15 years, but was recently fired for expressing concerns in a letter to the editor. So much for elections staff being your “citizen watch group”!

By law, all ballots within a precinct must be uniform with no distinguishing marks so that how you voted will be your secret. However, your San Juan County ballot already has your personal number (barcode) printed on it when you receive it.

When elections staff gets your voted ballot, they use the uncertified Vote Here Ballot Tracker computer to read your number linked to your name. That is why it is called Ballot Tracker.

Naturally, this link between your name and your ballot can be retrieved, since that is what computers do — they store information. Why does our county prohibit public observers from seeing what the Vote Here Ballot Tracker computers are doing? Are they hiding the link between your name and your ballot?

After your ballot is tracked, it is copied digitally into a small memory card. Your ballot may be displayed on a large wall screen for the staff to examine — your number and all. Anyone seeing this who knew your number would know how you voted!

On election night, the memory card containing all the ballot copies is inserted into a tabulating machine which produces election results within minutes.

King, Thurston and other counties follow the law, using ballots that are uniform for everyone within a precinct. San Juan County could easily do the same. I can not understand why our county auditor continues to defend and use an unconstitutional voting system that violates state law. Can you?

Joyce Harrell
Friday Harbor

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