Case #74588
Respondent name: Mason County Auditor's Office Officials
Complainant name: Terry Peterson

A complaint was filed alleging that the Mason County Auditor’s Office may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 by sharing a League of Women Voter's of Washington Facebook post on the Mason County Auditor’s Office Facebook page concerning voter registration efforts.

On July 11, 2020, the Mason County Auditor’s Office Facebook post stated: “You can update your voter registration online at VoteWA.gov if you have a valid Washington Driver’s License or WAID card.  If not, go to out website masoncountyelections.us to download a registration form or contact us.  #BeVoteReady.” 

Below the post from the Mason County Auditor was a July 3, 2020 repost from the League of Women Voter's (LWV) of Washington Facebook page, featuring a picture of a woman in an orange Hazmat suit holding a clipboard stating “Are you registered to vote at your current address?”  followed by the statement “Nothing stops the LWV from registering citizens to vote.” The repost included a hyperlink to the LWV Facebook homepage. 

Paddy McGuire, Mason County Auditor stated in his response to the complaint: “The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization dedicated to expanding participation in the electoral process. What was linked to from our official Facebook page was not election advocacy. None of the issues that the complainant was able to find by searching the website of the League of Women Voters is a matter of a Washington State ballot measure.”

The Facebook information posted on the LWV site and reviewed by PDC staff provided information about registering to vote, the importance of registering and voting, the suffrage movement that provided women the opportunity to vote, and recognizing individuals that have worked on behalf of voting rights and included Congressman John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hammer, and Alice Dunbar Nelson.  Staff’s review, found no information was posted on the LWV Facebook site that supported or opposed any 2020 candidates dating back to July 11, 2020. 

The PDC dismissed the complaint in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).

Disposition: Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 08/12/2020)
Date opened: 08/05/2020
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.555

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