An exclusive KIRO Team 7 Investigation discovers the state will send ballots to thousands of convicted felons in the next week, even though many can't legally vote.
The Secretary of State’s Office fired up a new multimillion-dollar computer in 2006. Its job was to catch, and then cancel, illegal voters.
Well, not all illegal voters.
KIRO-TV recently ran its own data to double check the state's work. Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne found out the system was set up to ignore the existence of approximately 24,000 convicted felons.
....6,812 of them are considered "very likely voters" because they already cast a ballot in other elections this year.
Unless something changes soon, every one of the felons will get a ballot for the November election, even though the state admits it has no idea if they are eligible.
Sources familiar with the election program, who asked we not identify them, tell us the new computer system was intentionally programmed to ignore a certain subset of felony data. The reasoning behind it was this: Because most of the felons on our list committed their crimes prior to the computer going online in 2006, it was going to be too difficult to research which ones can legally vote.
Jonathan Bechtle is an attorney at a conservative think tank, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. He thinks we have found a significant flaw and one that could affect a close election.
“So we're not going to follow the law because it seems too hard to do? Sorry. That just doesn't cut it. The law says 'felons, you can't vote.' The Secretary has been given the authority, given the funds to put this database together. They should be able to do this," said Bechtle.
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