WENATCHEE — As the Nov. 3 general election draws near, Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore offered a caution to a group of voters Friday.
“Owning property in Chelan County does not, on its own, qualify a citizen to use that property for voting purposes. They must physically reside and maintain their abode in Chelan County,” Moore wrote in an email Friday.
The email was addressed to the Short Term Rental Alliance of Chelan County, which earlier in the day posted to its website:
“Keep in mind that if you own property in Chelan County, you are eligible to vote here. To do so, you can simply change your voter registration address using the same link above.”
The post was a reminder to its members to vote. The alliance has endorsed Tiffany Gering for Chelan County Commission Position 3, an area that represents residents living in Olds Station and north to Entiat, Chelan and Manson.
Gering is running against Dale England. In the August primary election, England received 40% of the vote. Gering edged out Brandt Cappell 29.6% to 27.8%. Moore said he included Gering and England as recipients of the email in an attempt to remain neutral.
“This is just another one of those instances where I wanted to kind of let the group know that what they’re advocating is probably not, they may not be doing it for the best purposes of the voter,” Moore said in an interview. “And it certainly starts to make people think that there are things going on with the voter registration.”
Moore explained that the election season so far has been heated and that worry of voter fraud persists nationwide.
“We work under an honor system in that when you register to vote you’re testifying and attesting to the fact that the information you’re providing is correct and it’s truthful,” Moore said. “The difficult part is because of that my office — we’re not in a position to be voter registration cops, as it were.”
Should a resident suspect someone is voting in a county he or she doesn’t live in, Moore noted that any Chelan County voter can challenge the voter registration of another voter.
“If they are successful in their challenge the voter is canceled at the registration that the challenge was on, but they have the opportunity to change the registration to a correct address to allow them to be registered correctly,” Moore said.