In Our Opinion: Irregularities in posted election results can’t be ignored

  • Friday, November 15, 2019 2:01pm
  • Opinion

Based on precinct results posted on the official elections website for Island County, the wrong person won in at least five races and the tallies didn’t add up in eight or more contests.

Precinct numbers should add up to the total vote count for each candidate, but they didn’t.

While county and state election officials contend that total vote counts posted on the website were accurate, they need to take these discrepancies seriously.

Officials need to explain exactly what happened, how precinct counts could be so different than the final vote counts and how the problem can be prevented in the future.

A recount may not be required, but it should be part of the discussion.

Island County elections officials blamed the state secretary of state’s office and new software for the discrepancy between the final count and precinct results.

The secretary of state’s office blamed the county, saying the precinct information was out of order.

The questions are many.

If it was a software error, why would only some of the results in some of the races be inaccurate?

If it was out-of-order precinct information, how could the numbers be wrong for the Langley City Council race, where there’s only one precinct?

Why didn’t anyone in the Island County elections office notice the issue right away? Why didn’t the secretary of state know about all the problems, even after it was pointed out to them?

Craig Cyr, who won a position on Langley City Council, first noticed the issue because he was curious about the wide vote margin between two candidates for a South Whidbey School Board contest.

His reaction, which included words best not repeated in a community newspaper, were apt.

Last week, county officials blamed the secretary of state for a delay of more than two hours in posting results on election day.

The state, however, claimed the county neglected to take a step prior to uploading the results, resulting in the long wait.

What is going on?

It’s vital to a democracy that citizens believe elections are fair and the counts are accurate. There is no “close enough.”

The canvassing board needs to get to work. A full and complete explanation is vital to election integrity.

When it comes to elections, there are no “harmless errors.”

More in Opinion

Sound Off: Built to last, and well worth a million bucks

Living in Central Whidbey, I have always thought that having all those… Continue reading

In our opinion: Holland Happening may have changed, but name should not

Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce leaders learned that a tulip called by… Continue reading

Sound Off: Holland Happening name is a cherished tradition

By Autumn Sundown During 2019, Oak Harbor’s iconic and beloved Holland Happening… Continue reading

A sad bear, angry deer and Tom Cruise make year memorable

It was an interesting year on Whidbey Island, as it is every… Continue reading

In our opinion: Justices’ rebuke of lawmakers is democracy in action

The framers of the Constitution would be proud to see that the… Continue reading

In our opinion: Shopping locally makes for better gifts, stronger communities

Christmas is a week away, but there’s still plenty of time for… Continue reading

In our opinion: Dealing with domestic violence is often complex

The most dangerous place for a woman is her home. Statistics on… Continue reading

In our opinion: You’re not alone if you are irritated by slow drivers

A peculiar quirk of some Whidbey Island drivers is to travel slightly… Continue reading

Sound Off: SPIN Cafe is in urgent need of a new home

SPIN Cafe exists to serve people in need. Today, SPIN itself is… Continue reading

In our opinion: Remove the politics from development permit decisions

A proposal to remove the Oak Harbor City Council from quasi-judicial decisions… Continue reading

Officials share what they’re grateful for this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving season, we contacted various elected officials on Whidbey and asked… Continue reading