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WAGOP Chairman Jim Walsh urges Sec. of State Hobbs to take action in primary election computer swap (King County Elections)

Washington State Capital Historic Building Grand Steps Entrance 2

September 29, 2023


Steve Hobbs

Washington Secretary of State

Legislative Building, Box 40220

Olympia, WA 98504-0220


Secretary Hobbs,

I am writing this letter to express the growing concerns of Washingtonians, particularly residents of King County, regarding the management and actions of the King County Elections department during the August 2023 primary election.

As you may already be aware, King County Elections staff has publicly acknowledged (after document requests had been made under the Public Records Act) the replacement of the County’s primary election-tabulation computer server—both hardware and software—during the 2023 primary election cycle. This replacement has raised significant concerns, as it appears to have violated state election laws and administrative codes.

Based on information obtained through Public Records Act requests and citizen interactions with King County Elections staff via correspondence and video conferences, the following sequence of events seems to have transpired:

  • In accordance with state law, King County Elections conducted a Logic and Accuracy Test (“L&A Test”) on its election-processing computer system on July 6, ahead of the August 2023 primary election.
  • Sometime after this initial test, between July 20 and July 28, 2023, King County Elections replaced the tested computer system hardware, specifically the “tabulation server,” with a second server that had not undergone proper testing for the August 2023 primary election, as mandated by state law RCW 29A.12.130 and WAC 434-335-330.
  • Several days later, approximately July 31, 2023, King County Elections conducted what it calls a “Mid-election” L&A Test on the replacement server. However, records indicate that this test did not adhere to legally-required “Emergency L&A” testing standards, protocols and procedures. Moreover, the test was conducted under questionable circumstances—without required witnesses or functioning video cameras. Consequently, there is no conclusive evidence that the “Mid-election” L&A Test was carried out.

Adding to the complexity, it appears that the replacement server’s hardware and software were actively used for the August primary election in King County for at least three days, beginning on or about July 28, 2023—before the “Mid-election” L&A Test was conducted, further violating state law.

It is imperative to emphasize that the “Mid-election” L&A Test conducted by King County Elections in late July was an abbreviated test, falling short of the requirements outlined in WAC Section 434-335-330 for testing a secondary tabulation server for the 2023 primary election. This, coupled with the absence of witnesses or functioning video cameras, casts doubt on the integrity of the election process in Washington and risks eroding voter confidence.

To prevent a crisis in voter confidence, I urge you to review carefully the documents and public statements provided by King County Elections regarding the non-compliant server replacement during the August primary. Recognizing the implications of these records, I ask you to take all necessary actions to reprimand King County Elections formally about its actions, which have set a dangerous precedent for future elections in Washington State.

Preserving the confidence of Washington voters in our state’s electoral processes is of utmost importance. I trust that you will take the necessary steps to uphold this confidence.


Thank you for your attention to this matter.



Jim Walsh


Washington State Republican Party