Benton County Republicans dissuade use of ballot boxes, monitor for signs of fraud

Benton County

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Republican advocates in Washington are encouraging surveillance operations at ballot drop boxes during the upcoming election. Based on statements from Benton County political officials, that could extend to the Tri-Cities this Fall.

Rep. Brad Klippert (R-WA), a candidate for Washington’s Fourth Congressional District, shared an anti voter fraud graphic on his social media page which was then re-posted by the Benton County Republican Party.

The following message was credited to Hayley Hoyt, the Party’s Ballot Observation Coordinator for Benton County:

“We have a team of volunteers observing ballot counting and processing. But we can not watch every drop box. So please bring them in person to the voting center.”

RELATED: WA Republican activists urge ballot drop box surveillance

Benton County is just one of the dozens of Washington communities where Republican volunteers will monitor the election process for signs of fraud. According to a recent Associated Press (AP) report, Republicans in the Seattle area posted “Under Surveillance” signs across the city with QR codes that allow citizens to report concerning activity.

Under King County law, it’s legal to observe ballot boxes. Washington state law also allows people to drop off mail-in ballots for other voters without any restrictions.

RELATED: No major problems with ballot drop boxes in 2020, AP finds

Much of the concern surrounding voter fraud was sparked by former President Donald Trump and his allies during the 2020 election cycle. Trump publicly advised against the use of ballot boxes and opened a national dialogue about voter fraud.

However, an intensive report and survey of state election leaders conducted by the AP did not find any major issues associated with the use of ballot drop sites after they were expanded for the pandemic in 2020.

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