Letters to the Editor

Secret ballot system protects party information

I’m a little confused by the newsarticle in July 20’s Mirror (“Political parties get their way in election decision”).

You say that it bothers state Sen. Tracey Eide that people have to tell polling officials which party they want to vote for durilng the primary election, saying “It’s a private thing.” As an election poll worker, in the last primary where it was necessary to specify the party, the only place the party had to be specified was on the ballot itself. Under our secret ballot system, this is done after the ballot is given to the voter. The poll worker would never know which party the voter specified, unless he failed to mark the party on his ballot, in which case the ballot would be rejected from the machine. Even in this case, the ballot judge would explain why the ballot was rejected, and still would not have to be told which party was specified.

I can’t speak for other counties, but this is the case in King County. Of course, if the same system is not used in subsequent elections, this may not be true.

One of the biggest problems we have is explaining to the voters that we don’t know, and certainly don’t care, which party they are voting for. Of course, when the ballots are counted, we will know how many voters voted for each party, but we will never know who those voters were.

Larry Bridenbach

Federal Way

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