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Chelan County pays $14,000 to mail supplemental ballots

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS    24 October 2004

WENATCHEE, Wash. Chelan County election officials paid an extra $14,000 to mail supplemental absentee ballots to more than 26,000 voters when the names of two judge s were left off original absentee ballots.

The mistake was due to a misinterpretation of state law, said Evelyn Arnold, county auditor. She said her office thought the names of Chelan County Superior Court judges John Bridges and Lesley Allan didn't have to be on the general election ballot because they ran unopposed in the Sept. 14 primary election.

Arnold said the additional cost would be covered by the election budget.

With the Nov. 2 general election less than two weeks away, the auditor's office also has only three of its four employees while one is away on maternity leave.

The shortage comes as the office has had to process 1,500 new voter registrations in the past three weeks. Although the extra workload means more overtime, Arnold said her staff is "staying up with it."

As of Friday, the county had mailed out 27,487 absentee ballots, excluding the supplemental ballots.


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