When I committed to publishing a statement for every candidate that was on your ballot, I never considered that some would contain hate speech that I couldn’t control. Local Voter Pamphlet rules allow me to establish Administrative Rules that require the statements to be about the candidate themself. They can’t attack their opponents. If they don’t comply with my administrative rules, I can reject the statements, which I have done.
This is not the same case for candidates that fall under the state voter pamphlet rules. So when you open your Voters’ Pamphlet this year, you may see candidate statements that contain offensive language and content. Some were very hard for me to read. But I had a choice. I could exclude all federal and state candidates and include only Commissioner and Superior candidates, or print the states candidates as submitted and approved by the Office of the Secretary of State. Due to the inconsistency of the laws between the local voters pamphlets and the state voters pamphlet I could not reject statements from state candidates.
The association of county auditors (WSACA) and the OSOS are working together to better align the rules. This will require changes to state law. Personally I feel the candidates should be required to discuss their qualifications and themselves. This is a taxpayer funded publication and I think we should adopt more of the Local Voter Pamphlet rules for all candidates, state and local. I’ll be working towards that goal with my fellow Auditor and the Secretary of States office in the next legislative session.