Evidence of Legislative Corruption in Washington State: Skagit County Election Integrity Group Calls for Forensic Audits

<em>Edit Promo Post</em> You're Invited:  2022 SCRP Lincoln / Reagan Day Gala

Sept 3, 2021 BURLINGTON, Wash. — The New American by Annalisa Pesek

All eyes are on Arizona, yet the fight for honest elections is raging not only in the battleground states. From New Hampshire to Colorado, election integrity groups are rising, even among the Democratic strongholds such as Washington State.

On August 29, in the rural town of Burlington, situated in Skagit County on the western side of the picturesque Evergreen state, a burgeoning group of Washington lawmakers convened to address what happened in Washington’s November 2020 elections.

The Skagit County Public Hearing on Election Integrity, a free event that lingered well into the Saturday-night dinner hour, drew in more than 500 concerned citizens and featured a panel of elected officials, including Washington State Representatives Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver), Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen), Rob Chase (R-Liberty Lake), Bob McCaslin (R-Spokane Valley), Robert Sutherland (R-Granite Falls), and Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen.

Several election-integrity experts were also present, notably mathematician Dr. Douglas Frank and cyber-engineer Draza Smith, both of whom exposed widespread voting irregularities in the national and local 2020 elections.

Bill Bruch, Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party Election Integrity Committee, who was defeated by his Democrat opponent in the 2020 race for State House Representative by a narrow margin of 738 votes, organized and emceed the event, telling The New American that the program was “a lot of work and very controversial.”

Washington is one of five states that now conducts elections solely via mail-in voting. The others include Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah.

"The argument that mail-in voting crushes any possibility of ever having secure and free elections is shared by many in the state." Bruch commented:

"I don’t think there’s any chance for mail-in voting stopping. But this is where we can make gains nationwide, to say [to other states], don’t do this! We need to get the legislature and the governor to change the law, which went into effect in 2011, but with a Democrat supermajority, it’s impossible. Without a county auditor on our side, it’s impossible. Democrat operatives know that is the strategy. But now they know they are being caught cheating."

The Courage to Expose the Fraud

Several whistleblowers gave their testimonies on Saturday, shining light on overwhelming evidence of corruption at the state level, exposing agencies such as the Department of Licensing (DOL) and the incompetence of current policies in place in county elections processes. They also focused on the failures of county auditors to take swifter action to prevent fraud and to tighten election rules to ensure cheating is an all but impossible task.

Former Skagit County Prosecutor K. Garl Long, in an interview with whistleblower Patti Johnson, asked the retired, 19-year DOL service representative how her work has been impacted by the state’s Motor Voter Registration law, effective July 2019–September 2023. This law allows anyone obtaining a Washington State driver’s license the opportunity to register to vote.

According to state law, Johnson was required to register people to vote. When asked if she was required to check if the person was eligible to vote, she said, “We weren’t allowed to do that,” adding “we would have documents in front of us, and we knew they [the applicants] weren’t American citizens. They weren’t eligible to vote, and if we asked them the question, ‘do you want to be eligible to vote?’ and they said yes, we were required to click the box and they were registered to vote.”   

Johnson explained that in the fall of 2018, a new system was put in place that had the voter registration box checked automatically. Moreover, driver’s license applicants could register multiple addresses with the DOL. Proof of U.S. citizenship was not required, and, according to Johnson, the agency waffled on policies requiring proof of address. “At times, they [applicants] did have to prove their addresses; at times they didn’t have to prove their addresses, mostly they didn’t have to prove their addresses.” she said.   

In addition, Johnson shared stories of felons registering to vote, urged to do so by DOL supervisors, and that the motor-voter law allowed for later and later voter registrations. She described how during the 2020 presidential election people flooded the agency at the last minute to register to vote. “This has never happened in any election that I have seen, and I’ve been with the agency 19 years,” said Johnson.

Today’s Mob Law

Lackadaisical training and selective enforcement of policies, explained Johnson, are responsible for the shoddy registration system. Johnson complained regularly and often to her supervisors, but she was told it wasn’t her job to check an applicant’s citizenship; that was the job of the auditor.

Asked why she decided to come forward now, Johnson said, “during all those years I watched this stuff happen, [if I would have spoken up,] I would have been fired, I would have felt the wrath of talking about it.” Expressing an urgency to clean up Washington voter rolls, Johnson said, “I don’t believe that the DOL should be the agency registering people to vote. It’s not my job to figure out who is a citizen or not.”

Another brave whistleblower, San Juan County Election Official Rene Polda, told The New American that “it’s very concerning that a computer counts all of our ballots and that no humans do it…. I realized that many people probably don’t know how our elections are done, and they should. I have contacted Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office [with my concerns], but they have told me everything was fine.”  

A resident of Friday Harbor, Polda volunteered during the 2020 general election to oversee the elections process in San Juan County, serving on the “A-team” group of volunteers, traditionally equally represented by both Republicans and Democrats.

“Several years ago,” explained Polda, “Democrat election officials would count the Republican official’s counted pile of ballots, and the Republicans would count the Democrat’s group of ballots. Today, all the A-te

am does is open the envelopes and feed ballots into the electronic voting machines to be scanned.”

“He who controls the computers controls the results of the elections right now,” said Polda, who recommends a return to hand-counted ballots. “It’s more difficult and more complex, but it would be less corruptible and it’s worth it. Otherwise, why vote?”

Polda doesn’t think the local clerks are the problem. “I don’t think they are intentionally trying to cheat. Supervisors were very confident in the competency of the computers counting the ballots…. [However,] convenience does not always equal transparency. If we don’t have honest and fair elections, we don’t have a United States.”

Skagit County canvasser volunteer Nancy Oczcowitz, and former Washington state assistant auditor Jenni Kammeyer presented their findings, followed by a Q&A from the panel of legislators and Skagit County commissioner Ron Wesen.

Oczcowitz reviewed thousands of citizen affidavits involving potential voter fraud. Kammeyer delved into the private funding of elections by Big Tech giants such as Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, as well as the poor transparency of elected officials and the impact of House Bill 1068, legislation that exempts election-security information from public-records disclosure, effectively halting investigations into any organization pouring millions into so-called election grants.  

Washingtonians Need a Wake-up Call

The resounding message throughout the evening was for Washingtonians to rise up and equip themselves with the knowledge and the tools that will help restore election integrity at the state level. Computer-based voting cannot and should not be trusted. Ultimately, as long as mail-in voting is the only option to vote in this state, election integrity is impossible. Changing this voting law is imperative. Americans must demand honest elections but also heed the 45th president’s advice: Get out and vote, yet continue to fight for reforming a flawed system.

The next election-integrity hearing in Washington State is tentatively scheduled for October 9, in Spokane. Visit the website of the group Washington Election Integrity for details.

Share This Post...