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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington Democrats threaten lawsuit over ballot instructions

Associated Press

SEATTLE – The Washington State Democratic Party has threated to sue the Pierce County Auditor over what it says are misleading instructions about mail-in ballots.

At a news conference in Seattle Thursday Party Chairman Jaxon Ravens said the party is considering legal action against Auditor Julie Anderson because an instruction from Anderson’s office that voters should mail their ballots four days before Election Day violates state law. The News Tribune reported Ravens said the direction didn’t make clear that the postmark deadline for ballots is Nov. 8, not Nov. 4. The Pierce County Auditor’s office is officially non-partisan.

Ravens said the party wouldn’t file a lawsuit if Anderson sends out a press release including the correct date by which ballots must be postmarked, posts the date clearly on the Pierce County Auditor’s website, and sends a new mailing to all voters in Pierce County telling them they have until Nov. 8 to send their ballots.

The Pierce County ballot insert, which accompanied about 484,000 ballots last week, said “Return your ballot early!” with a reminder, “Mail by November 4 (Stamp required).”

Anderson has said her office was including the information as a guideline to ensure all voters’ ballots will be postmarked by Election Day. Under state law, ballots that aren’t postmarked by Nov. 8 won’t be counted.

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