Elections Officials Attend Conference in Spokane

By Steve Jackson

Washington State election directors are attending a conference in Spokane this week. Among the topics, possible replacement of current computer systems that track voter registration in the state’s 39 counties.
 
Back in 2004, the state had 39 separate data bases for voter registration, which became a major headache when a recount was needed due to the close Gregoire-Rossi Gubernatorial race.
 
In 2006, the Secretary for states office helped develop a new computer database, but now there are still 3 different vendors that provide different operating systems for different county’s data bases.
 
Now, Secretary of State Kim Wyman says discussions are focusing on whether that should be updated.

Wyman: “The biggest challenge is with essentially 3 different operating systems. Every time we want to make a change it takes a lot of coordination. So we are looking it see if we should be on  single system so we are looking at the possibilities.”
 
Wyman says one issue is that federal money that helped update the system back in 2006 is no longer available. She says the state legislature might have to find funding if it’s decided a new system is worth the investment.
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