24,000 Felons Get to Vote in Washington
October 16, 2008
SEATTLE -- 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.
The State of Washington never stopped sending Tracy Wilkinson ballots in the mail, even though it appears she's not eligible to vote.
In 2002, she pleaded guilty to a felony prescription drug charge, then, according to court files, failed to pay all her fines.
A Snohomish County judge ruled "the defendant is not entitled to restoration of civil rights or discharge" - legal speak for "you can't vote!"