Washington’s Party Affiliation Requirement On Mail-In Envelope Raising Concerns

Amid concerns of voter fraud across the U.S., voters in Washington recently sounded the alarm over a requirement that mail-in-voters mark their political party affiliation on their mail-in envelopes.

The issue was brought to light when Washington voter Rachel Stewart posted a picture of her mail-in envelope on X, formerly known as Twitter.

On the social media platform, Stewart pointed out that she’s never been required to disclose her party affiliation on the outside of a mail-in envelope.

“New Washington State envelopes for mail-in ballots. NEVER had to disclose my party declaration on the OUTSIDE of my ballot before. Don’t feel really good about this…. @JimWalshLD19 @WAGOP,” Stewart wrote.

Despite Stewart’s concerns about never having to check off her party affiliation, the issue goes as far back as the 2016 presidential election, according to Spokane station KREM.

“Having to mark your voting party on the ballot envelope is not a new requirement in Washington state, according to Lincoln County Auditor Chandra Schumacher. Marking your party delegation was also required in the 2016 and 2020 primaries,” the outlet wrote.

Citing concerns over the requirement, Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs noted that the measure is supported by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is an internal party process that is backed up by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Hobbs told KREM.

Criticism is growing against the requirement, with Republicans calling it “questionable.”

While speaking with Fox News, Washington State GOP chairman Jim Walsh said the requirement to declare one’s party affiliation is “codified in law” and only pertains to primary elections, not general elections.

“The design where the attestation, the declaration is on the outer part of the envelope, that is not state law, that is a guideline, an administrative decision made by the Washington Secretary of State in conjunction with local county level election officials,” Walsh said.

Walsh added that Washington Republicans have tried to modify the requirement since 2016 “so that people can choose to be unaffiliated,” but Democrats in the state have prevented such changes from occurring.

During an interview with Seattle-area radio host Jason Ratz, Walsh suggested that voters take their ballot to a ballot box instead of mailing it.