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Friday, December 23, 2005

Sims Swings at Sotelo

Posted by on December 23 at 11:40 AM

In case you missed his Op-Ed yesterday in The Seattle Times, King County Executive Ron Sims has assembled a list of fishy Republican vote-challenging efforts from other states, and linked them to the mass voter challenges issued here in Washington last month by Republican official Lori Sotelo.

Pointing to the similar voter challenge incidents in Ohio and Florida, Sims asks:

Sound familiar? It should, because Republicans have now imported these reprehensible and disruptive mass-challenge tactics into Washington state. Our local Katherine Harris, a previously obscure Republican Party apparatchik named Lori Sotelo, challenged the registrations of nearly 2,000 King County voters on the eve of the 2005 election.

State Republicans have suggested that Sotelo’s challenges were just a test-run for an even more massive voter challenge effort in 2006, and with this in mind, Sims is calling on the state legislature to change the law so that it clearly prohibits these last-minute mass challenges.

What we need is strong, loophole-free legislation in Olympia that will bar, once and for all, the sort of mass-challenge abuses we just experienced here in King County.

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) has said she will introduce legislation this session to do just that. It will be interesting to see how far she gets.