FACT CHECK: Can Washington State Voters Cast Their Ballots Online?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook allegedly shows a voter in Washington state submitting a ballot through a website.

Verdict: Misleading

While ballots can be marked online through the King County, Washington, website, completed ballots must be returned by mail or at a drop box by 8 p.m. on election day.

Fact Check:

Washington Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray defeated Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley with 52 percent of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon, according to The New York Times. Several senate seats that could decide the balance of power in the chamber are still too close to call as of Wednesday morning, CNBC reported.

The Facebook video allegedly shows shows a King County, Washington voter filling out his ballot online. The voter filmed the screen of the tablet he entered his information on as he explains how the process appears to work.

“Here’s the video (not my video) of someone entering their name and date of birth, and voting ONLINE in King County,” the post caption reads. The video does not show the voter officially submitting the ballot online.

The video lacks context. A follow-up video shared on Instagram confirmed that the ballots cannot be submitted online, only marked and printed. The uploader confirmed a completed ballot cannot be submitted online, but can be printed out through the website.

The King County website explains that the system is part of its “online ballot marking program” that anyone can use, but is also targeted at disabled voters who are blind or have low vision.

“If a voter’s ballot is damaged or lost, the voter may mark their ballot on a computer and print it out,” the site reads. “Return it by mail or at a ballot drop box before the 8 p.m. election day deadline.”

The actual ballot website also states completed ballots should be returned to a physical location managed by King County Elections.  (RELATED: Does Proposition 1 In California Allow Abortion up Until birth?)

Check Your Fact contacted the Washington Secretary of State for comment on voting online and will update this piece if a response is provided.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter

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