Special to the Mountain News
Editor’s Note: The Mountain News received the following press release from the Pierce County Auditor’s Office, the agency that administers our elections.
Pierce County is mailing corrected ballots to 1,422 voters in the new 10th Congressional District who received a faulty ballot due to a printing error.
Those voters originally received a misprinted ballot containing candidates for the 6th Congressional District. The printing vendor confirmed the error and indicated it was isolated to two precincts in South Tacoma, Parkland and Spanaway. During the printing, the back plate was not changed, so two precincts were printed with the wrong back.
Pierce County printed more than 504,000 ballots for the Nov. 6 General Election.
Along with the new ballot, the 1,422 voters will receive a letter alerting them to the error and instructing them to return the correct ballot. The Pierce County Elections Division has put in controls to prevent the counting of the incorrect ballot as well as steps to ensure the correct ballot will be tabulated.
How this happened:
- Pierce County’s General Election ballots are two-sided. There are 521 fronts that contain the same issues (state and county measures and president). The only difference is the precinct number. There are 49 different back styles that are printed on those fronts. Offices that change on the back side of the ballot include congressional districts (four), state legislative districts (eight), County Council districts and other local ballot measures.
- The printer is responsible for printing the right front with the correct back.
- When Pierce County receives the ballots from the printer, the quantity of each ballot style is checked. Workers also check to make sure the ballots are printed correctly, but that process failed for these two precincts.
- After this problem was brought to our attention, we immediately re-checked each ballot type to ensure it was printed correctly.
Voters still have plenty of time to vote for their 10th Congressional District choice and have their vote counted.
Voters with questions can contact the Elections Division at 253-798-VOTE (8683)