#4ThePeople: Airway Heights woman gets five others’ ballots in mailbox

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — Election Day is more than three weeks away and ballots have started to make their way into Spokane County homes. One woman got more than just her own.

Voter security is a huge issue this campaign and that’s why the voter reached out to 4 News Now about an unexpected surprise in her mailbox. Dana Rowan said not only did she get her ballot, but ballots for five other people.

“They weren’t anybody on our street,” Rowan said. “They weren’t anybody I knew.”

Rowan said she looked up the address on the ballots. The house was about three blocks away.

“I was just really concerned about the fact that these ballots that weren’t ours were in my mailbox,” she explained.

Her mailbox is locked, meaning only the post office can get in it. Rowan said she not only got their ballots, but also their bank statements.

She said she delivered all of it to the family’s home, but said she has many worries.

“This is just really concerning to me that they would be so careless with our ballots,” Rowan said.

Rowan said she wondered what would’ve happened if the ballots fell into the wrong hands and someone signed it fraudulently.  We took these concerns to the Spokane County Auditor.

“That signature is still going to have to match that signature that we have on file,” said Vicky Dalton. “It’s a human that looks at the signature on the envelope and the signature on the file.”

If your signature doesn’t match what’s on file, it’ll be rejected and the voter will be notified.

Dalton said what Rowan went through happens from time to time.

“Like every operation, whether it’s elections or the postal service, we come as close to perfection as we can but occasionally mistakes are made,” Dalton explained.

Rowan said she’s also worried about replacement ballots.

“I know that if somebody doesn’t get a ballot they can always request a second one, but it just really makes me nervous knowing that there’s extra ballots floating around,” she explained.

Dalton said they track what ballot is current and what’s been canceled. You can also track your ballot online.

Regardless, Rowan said she’s going to keep a closer eye on her ballot. Normally, she sends it through the post office. This year she said she’s going to use a ballot drop box.

“I definitely am really going to be careful when it’s election time, to watch my mail,” Rowan explained. “I always just assumed that everything would go to plan and that we would get our ballots like we’re supposed to.”

If you do happen to forge a signature, Dalton said you can be charged with a felony.

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