#4ThePeople Fact Check: List of rejected ballots circulating online is not reliable

SPOKANE, Wash. — A website making its way around social media appears to show the number of rejected ballots in Spokane County. The issue is: it’s not totally reliable.

4 News Now reached out to the Secretary of State’s Office after the website was linked in media reports from other news agencies, which stated about 3,000 ballots have been rejected.

The SOS’s office said the website is not affiliated with their office and has been reported to to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, as well as the Center for Internet Security.

“It is not an official site of the Office of the Secretary of State, nor is it a verifiable source of election information. Voters should not rely on the website for official election information,” the SOS’s Office said in a statement to 4 News Now.

Auditor Vicky Dalton also said the site is not affiliated with the Spokane County Elections Office. She said the website has been around since 2018 and, though some of the information listed is correct, it is outdated.

“It looks like the information is from a file from us, but it’s so far out of date that it is misleading. It’s not an official site and not up to date.”

Dalton said that, as of Tuesday, 2,854 ballots required additional processing. Of that, 1,785 are waiting for the second review of the signature. Only 1,069 ballot envelopes have failed signature verification or have another problem that prevents the ballot from being counted. Of those, only 27 cannot be rescued by the voter; 12 envelopes indicate the voter is deceased and 15 indicate the voter moved out of state.

Dalton said voters have the opportunity to “rescue” the remaining 1,042 ballots. Each of those voters will receive a letter with instructions on how to cure the problem with their envelope and they must correct it by November 23.

Below is a breakdown of those 1,042 ballots and why they were rejected:

Ballot Rejections

So, how can you track the status of your ballot? It is easy.

First, go to your voting portal at voter.votewa.gov. You will then need to verify who you are by entering your first name, last name and date of birth.

Voter Identification

Once in the portal, select “Ballot status.” This is where you will see the tracking status (its path to the elections office), as well as ballot status (whether or not it has been counted). This is where you will see one of four possible ballot status terms:

  1. Sent – Your ballot has been mailed to you
  2. Received – Your ballot has been received by your local elections office
  3. Accepted – Your signature has been accepted and your ballot will be counted
  4. Rejected – Your ballot has an issue that prevents it from being accepted and counted

If your ballot has been rejected, it is likely missing a signature on the envelope or the signature does not match the one on file. If this is the case, call your local elections office and they will guide you through the next steps to ensure that your ballot does get accepted.

RELATED: How to check ballot status, fixing a ‘challenged’ ballot

RELATED: #4ThePeople: Where to return your ballot and how to track it

Do you have a question about your ballot or the security of your ballot? Submit your questions below.