OKANOGAN — Stephen Rawson, an Okanogan County resident who was deployed with the U.S. Navy and away from his duty station, was hoping to vote for his dad in the Nov. 2 election.
But when he went online and downloaded his ballot on Thursday, his father’s name, Henry “Hank” Rawson, was nowhere to be found. Neither was his father’s opponent, Rick Weber. Both are running for Okanogan County District Court Judge, Position 2.
Officials say the glitch in the new online replacement ballot system was likely isolated to this single incident and this single county.
But, they warn, if anyone else downloaded a replacement ballot for Okanogan County, they should check to make sure the county’s District Court races are included. Chris Culp, another District Court judge who is running unopposed, was also omitted, said Patty Murphy, voting systems specialist for the Washington Secretary of State’s Office.
By Friday morning the problem was fixed, she said.
“We are so lucky how quickly this was discovered,” Murphy said, noting that any other voter may not notice the court judges were not listed.
She said officials are nearly certain that no one else downloaded an incomplete ballot, because Okanogan County officials only told Rawson about getting a replacement ballot through the website, and they only told him yesterday.
Rawson is stationed in Lemoore, Calif., and was deployed for training to Fallon, Nev., his father said.
The Okanogan County Auditor mailed all registered voters, including those serving in the military, a ballot that includes the District Court races, said Deputy Auditor Mila Jury.
She said her office also e-mailed some military personnel ballots, but those also included the District Court races.
Rawson opted to get his ballot by mail, she said, but his mail was then secured while he was deployed, so he couldn’t access it.
When his family asked how he could get a replacement, Jury sent him to the state’s MyVote system.
“There were a couple of ways to solve the problem, but I thought we may as well try the new system. Well, wrong,” she said Friday.
The system, through the Secretary of State’s Office, allows registered voters to download a pamphlet, find drop boxes, check out their voting history, and get a replacement ballot if theirs was lost or damaged.
Murphy said the problem was that the Okanogan County District Court judge races weren’t entered in her system for all precincts in Okanogan County.
She said Okanogan County has been in the MyVote system for a couple of years, but that wasn’t long enough for the four-year terms to have been entered.
She said she’s also confident that other races have not been left off ballots from other counties, because most have been on the system longer, and have already been tested.
Not all counties use the MyVote system, she added.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512