Two arms of Washington's state government are at odds over why 21,000 voters may not have received their 2011 general-election ballots in the mail.
The Secretary of State's office said problem involves the Department of Licensing's website. Users who went online to renew or update the home address information on their drivers licenses were also given an option to update their voter registration information.
The Secretary of State's office said the Department of Licensing failed to pass along updated address information from those voters. As a result, none of that information was passed along to county voter registration officials.
Worse still, the Secretary of State's office said it was never informed that the Licensing Department was including a voter registration update option on its site.
But the Department of Licensing denies its site was the cause of the problem. DOL spokeswoman Gigi Zenk said her department sent the Secretary of State’s office all the data.
“What the Secretary of State’s office has done with the information, only they can say,” Zenk said.
Zenk said the DOL can verify that it sent the information.
About 15,000 people who renewed their licenses online are affected, as well as another 6,000 people who updated their voter registration information but were not previously registered.
Some of the voters affected may have received their ballot if the postal service had a forwarding address on file. But it may be the wrong ballot, depending on where the person moved.
The Secretary of State's office said the only option for voters who believe their ballot was never sent is to go to their county elections officeand cast a provisional ballot.
The deadline to postmark ballots is Tuesday. The Secretary of State's office said voters can double-check their ballot status online at www.myvote.wa.gov.