Lawsuits filed Thursday in Clark, Snohomish and Whatcom counties claim the auditors in each of those counties "flipped votes," kept illegal records of voters by political party, defied public records laws and, in some cases, used unverified election equipment during the November 2020 election.
The suits were filed by the Washington Election Integrity Coalition United with an additional 28 individuals — including congressional candidate Joe Kent, Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson and Yacolt Town Council member Michelle Dawson — signing on as plaintiffs. Kent is challenging Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, for her 3rd Congressional District seat.
Attempts to reach Kent for comment were not returned Tuesday. Dawson said she did not wish to comment on the matter.
Along with legal fees, the suits seek a "full forensic audit" be conducted in the same manner as the audit carried out this year in Maricopa County, Ariz.
The Arizona audit, which was initiated in April by Senate Republicans, has yet to reveal any evidence of widespread voter fraud. The suits also seek to have Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, who conducted the Arizona audit and claims to have invented technology that can detect fraudulent ballots, perform similar audits here.
The suits contend that approximately 6,000 votes were flipped, and more than 400,000 were added or removed in one or more statewide races "before, during and/or after the election." They argue a part of that happened in the county where each suit is filed.
The lawsuits also ask to have the county auditors "permanently restrained from allowing and/or facilitating electronic manipulation of the voting results," claiming the auditors "engaged in wrongful acts, errors and/or neglect of duty."
According to court records, Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey in August denied a Washington Election Integrity Coalition United public records request for actual ballots from the November election that the group says it is legally allowed.
Kimsey was unavailable for comment Tuesday, and the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said it could not comment on pending litigation.
Washington Election Integrity Coalition United leader Tamborine Borrelli, of Gig Harbor, has traveled the state in search of residents willing to join the effort.
One of those stops, on Aug. 15, was at a Snohomish church for an unofficial public hearing at which people testified about fraud and irregularities they say they saw or experienced. State Rep. Robert Sutherland, R-Granite Falls, helped organize the event, along with four other Republican lawmakers. He later emailed some attendees with a direct pitch seeking lawsuit participants.
"I'm not personally alleging that there has been any specific impropriety. I am not out there alleging massive fraud, and they need to overturn the election," said Art Coday of Woodinville, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for state Senate last year. "A forensic audit would go a long ways to reassure people things are as they should be."
The notion of needing to reassure people of the integrity of elections is a mantra of former President Donald Trump — despite a broad coalition of government and industry officials calling the presidential election "the most secure in American history."
Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell declined to comment on the specific allegations, deferring to county lawyers.
"We're reviewing the complaint. We are aware that there are other counties named in similar lawsuits," said Jason Cummings, chief civil deputy prosecutor for Snohomish County. "We're disappointed that the themes of the Arizona auditing factions are trying to make their way into Washington."
The suits are largely similar, except Fell is accused of using uncertified voting equipment, while the Clark County auditor is not.
The litigation didn't surprise Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
"This is the new reality on the ground for election administrators," she said. "It doesn't matter how wide a margin in the results. You call everything into question and it undermines the validity of everything in the process."
Neither here nor elsewhere is anyone discussing the extensive audit trail compiled by local auditors, Wyman said.
"All these allegations, and I've yet to see anything brought to a prosecuting attorney or the FBI that we could actually respond to," Wyman said.