Election 2021: Still pondering your ballot choices? Check out this information for voters

By now, you should have received your Nov. 2 general election ballots in the mail. If you haven’t yet made your choice for a range of local races, here are some resources:

Our Election 2021 page includes links to our debates with candidates for Edmonds City Council Positions 1, 2 and 3, as well as questionnaires and statements from a range of candidates, from school board to hospital district to port commission.

The Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE) also submitted questions to candidates regarding issues ACE has been involved in, and have provided those answers for voters to review: The Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds questionnaire.

The League of Women Voters of Snohomish County conducted audio and video interviews with candidates and those are available here.

Snohomish County mailed a printed voter’s pamphlets with candidate statements, and that is also available online.

Also a reminder that the cut-off date was Oct. 14 (the day the ballots were mailed to voters) for letters to the editor in support of, or opposition to, candidates. We are no longer accepting those letters.

Voters can register or update an existing registration online at www.votewa.gov or by mail through Monday, Oct. 25.  After Oct. 25, voters can continue to register or make updates as well as vote in-person until 8 p.m. on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the county auditor’s office in Everett or at an accessible voting site.

Voters are encouraged to return their voted ballot early. By returning ballots early, voters can ensure their vote will be included in the first results released on election night. Several options are available for returning a ballot – through a ballot drop box, at an accessible voting site, or by mail (postage paid).

Voters returning their ballot through the mail should check the last collection time on the postal box to ensure their ballot will be postmarked no later than Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2. The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters return their ballot a few days before Election Day to ensure timely postmarks. By law, ballots postmarked after Election Day cannot be counted.

When in doubt, use one of 32 conveniently located ballot drop boxes across the county. Locations are listed on an insert mailed with every ballot, in the local voters’ pamphlet, and on the Snohomish County Elections website at www.snoco.org/elections. Drop boxes are open 24-hours a day until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Snohomish County Elections has accessible voting equipment for voters with disabilities and offers voter registration and ballot issuance at the following sites during the hours listed:

Location Dates and Hours of Operation
Alderwood Water and Wastewater District3626 156th St SWLynnwood, WA  98087


Saturday, Oct. 30 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 1 – 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 2 – 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wyndham Garden Hotel16710 Smokey Point BlvdArlington, WA 98223


Snohomish County Auditor’s Office1st Floor Admin W3000 Rockefeller Ave

Everett, WA 98201


Monday through Friday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Saturday, Oct. 30 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Monday, Nov. 1 – 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 2 – 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Voters who did not receive a ballot by Oct. 23 should call 425-388-3444. For more information, visitwww.snoco.org/elections or contact Snohomish County Elections at elections@snoco.org.


  1. Posting for Ken Reidy who is having tech trouble:
    I am in receipt of a political flyer paid for by Friends of Will. It is one of the most disappointing things I’ve seen over the years I have closely followed Edmonds City government. I will verbally recommend candidates to vote for, but I do not endorse candidates or contribute to campaigns. I made this decision years ago after reading an email from former Mayor Gary Haakenson to former Councilmember Michael Plunkett dated October 29, 2009, in which Haakenson expressed surprise about how a campaign contribution was not impacting the conduct of former Councilmember Mauri Moore. That email is included in the City Council Meeting Minutes for the August 4, 2020 City Council Meeting for anybody interested in reading the Haakenson email in its entirety. I participate heavily with city government and make many requests of elected officials. I will never accept the concept that campaign contributions are a way to impact the conduct of elected officials. Friends of Will argue that there are two candidates, but only one real leader. Is this claim meant to divide us? This is a claim made by people (Friends of Will) who talk a lot about “collaboration”. Friends of Will even divided its flyer into two sections. A picture of Will Chen is on the left side with “FACTS” below Will listed in a blue background. A picture of Janelle Cass is on the right side with “FACTS” below Janelle listed in a red background. Can Friends of Will provide proof that what it claims are facts are really facts? I’ve never heard Janelle say anything about believing we need to work “backwards”. Why is this concept being presented as a fact? It has been claimed that Will is a unifier. If so, why didn’t Will Chen tell Friends of Will that he cannot support the mailing of this political flyer. I encourage all to read the written summary of Position 2 Edmonds City Council debate and/or watch the video. We are very fortunate to have this available to help inform us of who to vote for.

    1. Ken:
      I felt the same when I received Will Chen’s campaign mailer last week. Disappointed that he chose to made false claims about his opponent, Janelle Cass.
      It was clear that the Position 2 race has turned a corner to a dirty political approach because Will Chen decided to use divisive tactics and make unsubstantiated claims about Janelle Cass- all while he promises voters that he is someone who will do just the opposite. He says on the same mailer that he ”Focuses on collaborative solutions to move Edmonds forward.”
      Can you say “ hypocrisy,” Will Chen?

      He has shown before that he is prone to this type of unprofessional behavior in his response during the debate “ I’m sorry if you don’t have as many friends as I do” (paraphrased) when pressed on the fact (by Janelle Cass) that his campaign contributions are from non-Edmonds residents (only 35% or so comes from people who live in Edmonds). People show their true nature in times of duress and stress.

      Can you say “unprofessional,” Will Chen?

      On the other hand, Janelle Cass has shown great leadership, professionalism, an openness to new and different ideas and a focus on the future of Edmonds – she values data, the input of others and from (all of) the constituency she wants to serve. She has proven her strength as a collaborator and has made a commitment to be the leader Edmonds needs to bring civility integrity and decorum back to the City Council.

      Janelle’s grandmother is Japanese, African American and Hawaiian -making Janelle a wonderful example of the diversity and melting pot that makes America special. I guess Will Chen missed that piece of information when he says on the mailer that Janelle “doesn’t reflect the growing diversity of our community.”

      Can you say “divisive,” Will Chen?

      One thing on Will Chen’s mailer is true :
      Actions DO speak louder than words.

      BTW: Will Chen is nominated in the Progressive Voters guide along with Alicia Crank and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.


      1. Thanks Beth,
        I emailed Will on February 20th as follows:

        Thanks Will,
        I would love to meet with you in person when we can. I am very hopeful that you will be an excellent Councilmember as I have heard great things about you.
        I’ll stay in touch. Have a great weekend!

        Will and I met shortly thereafter and met again in early July. I shared with him my experiences with City government and opinions about the problems our City government has.

        I am very disappointed that he would allow this flyer to be sent out. It speaks very poorly of him as a candidate.

        1. I like him. I too met him but he clearly is not for Edmonds. As a resident yes as a citizen yes as a neighbor perfect but not for Edmonds as he I think is too much into the upscaling etc. Candidates are holding their breathes right now…They know many are waiting to cast this ballot as I am just to make sure. I will watch Council again on the Zoom Tuesday night. I actually enjoy them. I believe Janelle Cass will handle 99 and our improvements just fine. I also believe she will help stop this violence. ITs bad folks… So yes I did like Will I still do like Will Chen and he is always welcome in my home. But in all good conscience this is Edmonds not Seattle and we need to be very careful. Ya know as BLUE as Seattle is even they didn’t expect this and the ones supporting it and putting up with it for so long out of love for the L anarchists are now saying no more! IT was in the paper. The Seattle Times I thought. Neighborhoods with tents and needles in their parks had been turning the other eye but now they even tried to remove them themselves a week or so ago… That should tell you something.

  2. I encourage people to read the email from former Mayor Gary Haakenson to former Councilmember Michael Plunkett included in the City Council Meeting Minutes for the August 4, 2020 City Council Meeting. It provides a look behind the scenes at Edmonds City Government.

    I sent the Haakenson email in as part of a Public Comment I made to City Council and told City Council I believe it provides an example of conduct the 2020 Council may want to consider as Council studies updates to the Council Code of Conduct. Conduct including:

    1. The use of personal email addresses by elected officials rather than official City email addresses;
    2. The impact of financial contributions to Candidates on subsequent conduct;
    3. Discussion about the Council President, citizens and others in an email without copying those people on the email so that they know elected officials are talking about them, and;
    4. Efforts to ”rally three other votes” outside of an Open Public Meeting.

    I concluded by thanking City Council for considering this historical conduct as they study and consider updates to the Council Code of Conduct.

    I believe it critical we give deep thought to who we vote for. I believe we need to improve the culture within City Government and the best chance to do that is to elect people who will work hard to change the culture that has been in place for years.

    Two quick examples of this culture are:

    1. The refusal to inform citizens the status of the Code Rewrite. The Code Rewrite has been budgeted for multiple times and questions as to status of that update are never answered.

    2. The failure to update our CEMP every 2 years as required by State law coupled with a refusal to inform citizens when City Code Chapter 6.60 will be fixed, when the new CEMP will be presented to Council for approval or whether we even have a functional emergency plan.

    This election is critical. I hope all will inform themselves as much as possible before voting.

  3. Thank you Teresa for getting this here. I now know exactly what to do… or who to vote for this year. Ken was very helpful and I read each site carefully. It is now quite obvious to me for sure who to cast a vote for in this election. I don’t know if you want us to comment here about our choices after reading each of the candidates statements so I am going to error on the side of caution for you Teresa. So let us know if its ok to say what we want as far as the info contained here and our whos’ an whys we want to make Edmonds happy and safe for all. Thanks for all that you do, And you to Ken Reidy… Very good. I figured as much on most as I have been really studying up but to read it right there. Concise, correct and official was very refreshing. Thank you I am glad I share a city with you. Deb.

    1. Thank you Deborah – I am thankful I share a city with you also. I believe strongly that we can have good city government and that such is best accomplished by more and more citizens getting involved. One great way to involve one’s self with city government is to vote. I hope all who are eligible to vote will vote.

      This election is critical. I hope all will inform themselves as much as possible before voting. I prefer to wait until right before election day to vote as I think we learn more and more about candidates the closer we get to election day.

  4. What we read when Politicians actually put there plans in Writing is one of the the only ways to hold them accountable, Have the candidates put their position to our major issues in writing remember: Say it forget it, Write it regret it!!! The other way is VOTE VOTE VOTE.

  5. Ken and Elizabeth, thank you for your comments. I could not agree more about the contradictory actions by Mr Chen.. This is a huge RED FLAG in my opinion. It seems Mr Chens statements say one thing and “do” another! Isn’t this status quo politics! Promises to unify but his actions are “divisive”. Also, I am extremely uncomfortable that Mr Chen missed the point of Janelles diverse background! (See Elizabeth’s comment) As a woman of color I can tell you Janelle is very inclusive. I have experienced it firsthand. She has been so encouraging to me about participating in different committees/boards in our city. Mr Chens description of Janelle is disingenuous to say the least. Mr Chens claim about working “backwards” to restore Edmonds could not be further from the truth! An example was Janelle’s insight to bring well qualified people together in a symposium to discuss, understand and strategize on ways to meet the challenges of homelessness in Edmonds. Very forward thinking on Janelles part! If Mr Chen has to lie to get votes, what do you think he would do in City government! Red flag!

    1. Will Chen has endured a lot as a first-generation immigrant to this country and he is an inspiration to many. Including my kids who are now interested in government after meeting with Will at our door. I appreciate that other candidates have people of diversity in their family history also. But Will has experienced what it is like to be an immigrant first hand and understands the challenges that many in the minority communities face today. My house supports Will.

  6. I am writing in response to the claims made about Will Chen by Elizabeth Fleming and Ken Reidy in previous comments. I received the same flyer from Friends of Will Chen and do not think that Will Chen decided to use divisive tactics and make unsubstantiated claims about Janelle Cass. Elizabeth, you point out that Will Chen is listed in the progressive voter guide. It seems that you are are making this a partisan race instead of one based on beliefs, community knowledge and commitment and leadership. Cass is listed as a supported candidate by the Snohomish County Republican Party and on the sample ballot. SCRP — Sno Co Republican Party (snocogop.org). If you are going to involve partisan politics in a nonpartisan race then please include the party of choice of your candidate. Will has said all along that he identifies as a moderate Democrat who is running for a non-partisan position as a member of the community and not as a member of any party. I have had several conversations with Mr. Chen and believe he will be open-minded and work towards consensus. I wish Janelle and her supporters would openly and honestly say she is supported by the Republican Party, if pointing out that Will Chen is listed in a progressive guide. Our city council does not need to reflect the divided nature of national politics. We need to work together to ensure the best options for our lovely city of Edmonds.

  7. Judy, as prior Chair of the 21st LD -I am not supported by the Republican Party -let alone Cass. From what I understand, the 32nd Dems didn’t endorse Will Chen (they refused him). I may be wrong. The local Republican party is basically a haunted house listed on Zillow. Anyone not bleeding edge progressive enough to hate themselves for what they were 5 fives years ago is a Republican by proxy. I really like Cass, but I also really look forward to Will Chen on the City Council and how entertaining it’s going to be. I’m gonna join that Citizen Patrol.

  8. I received Will Chen’s flyer today and was appalled by it. It feels like the outside money, influence and campaign advisors that have affected the Seattle Mayor and King County Councilmember races are now affecting Edmonds races.



    Initially, I supported Will and had several conversations as well as an email exchange. It was during those exchanges, however, he could not articulate his positions, especially on single family zoning.

    As a voter do yourself a favor and go to both candidates’ websites and read the debate transcript. You will find

    https://www.friendsofwill.org fails to detail what he wants to do and how he is going to do it.

    https://www.janellecass.com/ has an actual platform page.


    The single family zoning issue was a deal breaker for me. This flyer say he “Voted to protect Single Family Zoning & supports growth where it makes sense.” That is not the same things as maintaining Single Family Zoning. It is a wishy-washy way of getting out of saying he is against Single Family Upzoning. He wouldn’t give me a straight answer on this topic in August when he stood in my front yard and he is not giving the citizens of Edmonds a straight answer with this flyer.

    I ended my final face-to-face conversation with Chen because he didn’t listen to what I was saying. We were talking housing and I stated how it took me three years to find a house in Edmonds I wanted and could afford. He apparently took offense at what I said, responding it took him “41 years to get where he is.” It’s not the same analogy. I even emailed him later to make sure he understood what I said, yet he failed to respond to that email. If he had this type of exchange with a constituent, how can he be at all collaborative on the council or with Edmonds residents?

  9. Hi Judy. Please know I did not go looking for something that concerned me about candidate Will Chen. It arrived in my mailbox and Friends of Will are responsible for that.

    In my opinion, Friends of Will’s following claim is a divisive tactic:

    “Two Candidates, But Only One Real Leader.”

    I find such claim to be ridiculous and disappointing.

    I believe using a blue background under Will’s picture and a red background under Janelle’s picture to be another divisive tactic. Maybe I am wrong but that I think such belief is reasonable.

    The flyer lists what it claims to be “facts”, yet it places a question mark next to one of the so called “facts” under Janelle’s name. What is that question mark supposed to mean?

    It claims as “fact” something Friends of Will claims that Janelle “believes” about needing to work backwards.

    I’m sorry but I can’t support a candidate who would allow this flyer to be mailed out. I hope Will regrets allowing this flyer to be mailed and I hope he will learn from this experience.

  10. Pay attention to who you vote for for the public hospital district!

    Look at the agenda for the next meeting. in the budget in the agenda, have $59 million dollars in cash and voted to approve an increase in the district’s property tax that it collects for 2022 even though the bonds are paid off. And they are selling the value village to south county fire RFA and it is valued at over $4 million dollars. They are cutting the amount that they willl be giving in grants for 2022. Here is a quote from their minutes; ‘The commissioners also discussed that with a lower budget for grants in 2022 compared to 2021, this will require thoughtful consideration and proactive communication with currently funded grant partners.’

    What are they doing with our money???

  11. Talk about too much outside money in this election. I have never received a text message from a city candidate until today.

    “Hi this is Will Chen & I’m running for City Council Pos. 2. I want to THANK YOU for being part of what makes Edmonds great! I’m proud of our community & have appreciated getting to know many of you. Please remember to return your ballot by 8pm on Nov. 2nd!

    Click link to hear a personal message from Will

  12. Jim Carraway, texting is not necessarily an expensive way to reach people. I have helped text in many campaigns. It is an effective, cost efficient way to reach people. Sending fliers, signs, mailings, ads in newspapers-it all costs money.

  13. As an FYI the Telephone Consumer Protection Act clearly specifies that:

    Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls, including autodialed live calls, autodialed texts, and prerecorded voice messages, are prohibited to cell phones, pagers or other mobile devices without the called party’s prior express consent. Political text messages can be sent [to mobile devices] without the intended recipient’s prior consent if the message’s sender does not use autodialing technology to send such texts and instead manually dials them.

    Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls are permitted when made to landline telephones, even without prior express consent.

    1. It would be interesting to know how candidates acquire private cell phone records to target local voters with texts. Are they getting them from local businesses who support certain candidates where we might frequent? This is the second candidate using text messages. My wife received a text message from another. She never gives it out and only provided it to a couple local businesses. Sadly, I hope this is not the case.

  14. Rebecca Yalch –

    Thanks for the info. I wasn’t sure as to the exact rules around political text messages. I was curious if it was an autodialed text or not, so tried calling the number the text came from and it is not a number that can receive calls. Based on that I’m assuming Chen is using an autodialer or burner phones.

    Mike Murdock –

    I don’t know how Chen got my phone number since I didn’t fill out his online contact form and even if I had there is no notification on the website that you may be contacted via text message. The contact I had with Chen was via email.

    1. Mike and Jim:

      I am in agreement with Judy. What is the fuss. You are just trying to spin this to put shade on Will Chen. I got his message and like the fact that he thanked the community in his message. A message that I noticed was not accurately linked by Jim in his original post. The correct link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIFWmMPurVo

      You didn’t mention the other candidates that are sending out text messages. For Instance Neil Tibbot and Janelle Cass. Why do you think that is? Perhaps the same bias you assume of Judy. No bias here, I think people deserve facts:

      Unsolicited Text Message From JANELLE CASS CAMPAIGN: Hi _______, its Al in Edmonds, Please join me in voting for Janelle Cass to end divisiveness on the City Council. Janelle will focus on people and protect housing. http://www.JanelleCass.com

      Unsolicited Text Message From NEIL TIBBOT CAMPAIGN: Hi Neighbor, I’m Neil Tibbot and I humbly ask for your vote to re-election. Ballots arrive soon and I’m committed to doing what’s Best for Edmonds. Click the link, learn how to vote by mail. https://snohomishcountywa.gov/231/Learn-How-to-Vote-in-Snohomish-County

      Unsolicited Text Message From ALICIA CRANK CAMPAIGN: Hi ______, This is Micah with Alicia Crank’s Campaign for Edmonds City Council Pos. 1. Now more than ever we need leaders with a deep commitment to the people of Edmonds. Leaders who will bring the community’s voice to the city Council. Have you heard of Alicia?

      I also received messages from other candidates no longer in the race. So before you throw stones at candidates or claim some kind of conspiracy, tell the whole story!

      1. Chong Wen Cong –

        If you read all of my comments, you would know I’m not promoting a conspiracy but rather sharing my interaction (face-to-face, over email and now text) with a candidate that will not directly answer a question.

        As far as the text messages are concerned I have now received another text from another candidate. Unlike Chen’s text, that candidate’s text did include the “stop” information. And unlike Chen’s, that candidate’s text mechanism did acknowledge no further texts would be sent.

      2. “Everybody’s doing it.” They did it first.” On and on and on. Again, it is SPAM and will always be SPAM regardless who sends it.

  15. I have received text messages from three candidates so far, and I had not communicated with them in any way. I concluded that it was some kind of robo-text process that is used by many.

  16. Texting programs use information that is available to the public. The numbers do not come from businesses. This is allowed under FCC regulations. You can always reply Stop and this request must be honored. The number used to dial is sent through a central number but does not necessarily mean that a a burner phone or auto dialed is being used.

  17. Judy McCoid –

    Since you are responding like you are, I’m assuming you are a Chen supporter and that is perfectly fine and your prerogative. Just as it is my prerogative to call out candidates on their words and actions.

    Chen sent an unsolicited text message. How he sent it shouldn’t be on me or any other voter to figure out whether he had the right to send it. I have reported it and that is that.

    In addition to the text, I received the disturbing flyer from Chen within the last week. The flyer was mailed, not hand delivered by a supporter or the candidate himself. Those two things speak to the amount of outside money in this race, which he acknowledged during the debate. “I can’t help that I have more friends…”

    Regarding fiscal accountability to his campaign and his donors, Chen obviously paid for a list of cell phone numbers to text, paid for the configuration and delivery of those texts, as well as paying for the flyers and the postage to mail them. After our final conversation in August, Chen knew fully well I was more than likely not going to vote for him since he wouldn’t answer my questions directly and I had asked him to pick up his yard sign. He should have taken me off his lists and saved his donors’ money back then.

    Between the face-to-face interaction, unsolicited text, disturbing campaign flyer and inappropriate debate behavior, I know who I didn’t vote for.

  18. The unsolicited text my wife received from another candidate addressed her by her first name.

    One could conclude from reading this thread that political candidates sending unsolicited texts legal or illegal is unprofessional, ill advised, and a very poor choice.

  19. I received Will’s Flyer and found it odd for a city council race.

    Will says that he supports opportunities for all including those with limited income and that Janelle Cass has no plan to make Edmonds welcoming & affordable to those with limited income. Really??? How is Will going to achieve that and what facts does he have to say that Cass does not support those with limited income? How is Will going to make Edmonds more affordable? The only way you do that is creating more supply than demand for housing and that means up zoning Edmonds, building more apartments and getting rid of single family zoning. I have never heard anything from Will on his plan to achieve this!! The reality is Will has no plan and this type of statement is pure pandering and trying to create some type of class warfare. You are also making it seem that Janelle could care less about this issue, making her out to be some cold-heatless person. I know Janelle and I can tell you 100% she is the exact opposite of what you are portraying her to be.

    Will also states that he brings much needed diversity to the council and says that Janelle does not reflect the growing diversity of our community!!! Seriously!!! Is Will saying because Janelle is a white woman she does not belong on the city council? That seems to be on the verge of being a bias statement toward white woman (I wonder how the other white woman on the council feel about this?). Janelle cannot help that she is a white woman just like Will cannot help that he is a Chinese male!!! Let’s start focusing on what each candidate brings to the table in regards to leadership and experience instead of their skin color or gender. We are all human beings and she be judged on the content of our character, not the color of our skin. JFK said this almost 50 years ago and we still don’t get it!!! You crossed the line on that one friends of Will!!

    1. Rod. Here’s Cass talking about lower income folks in what seems to be a pretty constructive way. I don’t feel like Cass wants to make using people of certain demographics for political gain. Nonetheless, it looks like this has been on her radar even before her political activity.

  20. Sending political texts is not illegal under the FCC guidelines, as long as the texts are sent individually. Sending texts for commercial purposes is subject to restrictions and can be illegal. In my experience, from using texts in multiple campaigns, it is a preferred option for many people. In our local race various candidates, including Janelle Cass, have used text messaging as a way to reach voters. It is a modern way to reach out to people and is a digital form of the traditional mailers or literature left on doorsteps. Texting is a far less expensive option than mailers and other printed materials, which are also sent to us unsolicited. Traditionally, people campaigning have been allowed to contact the public in these ways. I do not think it reflects badly on the character of the person running for office.

    1. Judy:
      “Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls, including autodialed live calls, autodialed texts, and prerecorded voice messages, are prohibited to cell phones, pagers or other mobile devices without the called party’s prior express consent. The same restrictions apply to protected phone lines such as emergency or toll-free lines, or lines serving hospitals or similar facilities.”

      “As text messages generally go to mobile phones, robotexts require the called party’s prior express consent. However, political text messages can be sent without the intended recipient’s prior consent if the message’s sender does not use autodialing technology to send such texts and instead manually dials them”


      I think you’ll find that companies who send these messages skirt the spirit of the law by having humans (maybe in foreign countries) farm the texts. Make whatever rationalization you want, but there appears to be no way to opt out of this new method.


  21. I really appreciate getting texts from these candidates, Crank and Chen, so far, as it really makes it crystal clear why I will not vote for them. I find these texts to be quite invasive. On the other hand, I have some old spare items that I was going to sell on eBay or for a garage sale, but I think maybe getting their personal cell phone numbers and then texting them about them might be fair play as far as invading others personal space.

    1. Brian, when I was politically involved we had a lawyer on staff who said the texts were not legal. I am not a lawyer, I’m talking about a time some time ago, but today I am a bit surprised to see unsolicited texts too.

      1. I consider them to be spam and reported them as so. I think it’s interesting that local candidates would want to be in the same company as other text spam and scamsters like penis enlargement pills, Nigerian Princes, fake Visas, Social Security fraud, and a whole list of other creepy or sleazy scams. I guess their political Consultants need to make a buck too.

  22. The text I put in my earlier comment about text messages came directly from the FCC website Rules for Political Campaign Calls and Texts | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov) and clearly states:

    “Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls, including autodialed live calls, autodialed texts, and prerecorded voice messages, are prohibited to cell phones, pagers or other mobile devices without the called party’s prior express consent. The same restrictions apply to protected phone lines such as emergency or toll-free lines, or lines serving hospitals or similar facilities.

    Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls are permitted when made to landline telephones, even without prior express consent.

    Robotexts – text messages generated through autodialing – are also considered a type of call and fall under all robocall rules.

    As text messages generally go to mobile phones, robotexts require the called party’s prior express consent. However, political text messages can be sent without the intended recipient’s prior consent if the message’s sender does not use autodialing technology to send such texts and instead manually dials them.”

    It is naïve to believe that there is an economic way for someone to be sitting somewhere manually dialing cell phone numbers to deliver text messages, even if the text message is pretyped and the system is setup to hit send automatically as soon as the person manually enters the number. Even if you are using some kind of automated system that doesn’t technically qualify as an autodialer, you must still have a person available at the end of the line to receive a return call and agree to remove the number and place on the national and company do-not-call registry.

  23. My previous comment was too long and somewhat unrelated to this one. So for further information:

    When I sent my original comment it was for informational purposes only. I do not believe that any single campaign intended to violate the law when sending texts; it is more likely that their political / marketing campaign manager recommended the approach as something economical and efficient and possibly effective and the candidate accepted the recommendation at face value without studying possible implications. It is also possible and very likely that candidates get lists of residents with contact information included. In fact, it is possible to get voter registration lists from the state; although there are significant restrictions on their use. Simply obtaining a list with cell phone numbers attached does not imply an individual’s consent to autodial or robo-text those numbers for political campaign messages.

    I also wrote my comments because my husband received a text message from a candidate that he did not provide a phone number to. Moreover, the message did not include any information on how to opt out of receiving future messages. It is a further requirement of the TCPA that all text messages sent for commercial (and this includes political) purposes must include an opt-out message within the text (usually at the bottom). It cannot be assumed that someone “knows” they can opt out by typing “S” or in some cases “Stop” or some other key word the automated system will read. It must be stated. The message from Mr. Chen did not contain any opt-out text.

    I also wrote my comment because I am engaged in an industry that works diligently to adhere to the TCPA rules and as a business within this industry we spend a significant amount of time and money to ensure that we know, understand, and adhere to these regulations. Thus it is a regulation that I am very familiar with, don’t always agree with, but strictly adhere to because it is well the law and at least in our industry there have been severe monetary consequences when you don’t.

  24. Matt, my experience has been that volunteers who support a candidate send the texts. I have sent many in support of candidates. I do not think groups are skirting the law but are using an efficient, cost effective way to reach voters. At any time a recipient of a text can text Stop and the opt out request must be followed. While some people do not like texts, others do not find it any more annoying than unsolicited mailings or literature left on doorsteps. Will Chen, Janelle Cass, Neil Tibbot and Alicia Crank have all used texts as part of their campaigns.

    1. Judy, I know of one of our candidates who used a text-sending service (I am not saying who because I said I wouldn’t say before I was told). I presume all candidates are using paid services like these, and without understanding the mechanics behind the model. I think some of these services farm out the activity to skirt the “no-robo” part of the law.

      I don’t think anyone is bad for using these services, and that everyone is just trying to gain an edge.

      Teresa, thank you for hosting this part of the story down here. The Pseudo-Robotexts trend would be a great MEN story.

  25. Today’s Daily Herald (Everett) newspaper contains an article that I think will be of interest to this group of commenters. It provides insightful information that I have not seen previously about two candidates for our Public Hospital District / Verdant Health Commission. There are rather stark contrasts between the two candidates referenced. I encourage everyone to read this carefully. Here is the link: https://www.heraldnet.com/news/pro-ivermectin-anti-mask-rally-host-runs-for-health-board/ Thanks all for being engaged in this year’s election!

  26. These are very helpful resources and links. Thank you My Edmonds News for being such an important resource for our community.

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