11/6/2022 Clark County WA
In case you missed it, the Clark County League of Women Voter's held a Candidate Forum at the Vancouver Public Library, featuring Clark County Auditor candidate Brett Simpson and 24-year incumbent Auditor Greg Kimsey. You can watch that forum for yourself below.
But what most people don't know is that in addition to that live television forum, the League of Women Voters asked the candidates to respond to written questions that would be made available to the voters in their upcoming LWV voters guide.
Of course, you can visit Vote411.org and view the questions and answers for yourself. But we've made an archive of the site, in case Kimsey doesn't like the way his answers look and changes them.
The responses were so shockingly different, that we decided to post them here, for your careful review:
Why did you decide to run for this position?
"After almost 24 years of administering secure, transparent, accountable and accurate elections I am seeking re-election to ensure this will continue in Clark County.
"Nothing in government is more important than election integrity and the confidence of the people in the results of their vote–and this is why I am running for this important position. Over the past two years I have been involved with citizens’ committees in the fight for election system integrity here in Clark County and have been sorely disappointed by the stonewalling and destruction of information exhibited by our County Auditor Office. It has become obvious to me that after 20+ years, our current Auditor Greg Kimsey is now working for his Establishment elites, instead of for his real boss, We the People. There’s ample flexibility and discretion within current laws, as well as administrative best practices, for a Clark County Auditor to orchestrate an accurate, secure and transparent election process. Kimsey has failed at this important task. Free and fair elections must remain the cornerstone of our democracy. I will return REAL transparency and accountability back to this office.
What are the three most significant issues facing the auditor's office?
1) A small number of Clark County residents believe the 2020 general election results were fraudulent and the elections administration process is flawed. 2) The ability to recruit and retain staff members, at both entry level and senior management level positions. 3) Increased elections administration complexity (e.g. “primary only voters”, ranked choice voting).
As the Clark County auditor, I intend to comprehensively address the corrupted voter rolls which is at the core of making ALL Clark county citizen’s vote count exactly like they should. Further, I will greatly tighten up the breathtaking sloppiness in ballot handling, signature verification, and other broken processes that dilutes the impact of real voters. I also will coordinate with other county auditors to become a force to address state-level voting system integrity issues–which if unaddressed can greatly dilute our local work. I am the auditor that won’t wall myself off from public scrutiny, mislead and outright lie to the public, utilize limitless County legal resources paid by taxpayers, to answer for my own shortcomings. Honesty, transparency and accountability are the 3 tenets most important to being a Great County Auditor. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly - let’s be honest with ourselves and with each other- no matter what we find or whose fault it was.
How would you handle these issues?
1) Continue to conduct secure, transparent, accountable and accurate elections and respond promptly and comprehensively to questions, concerns and requests for information from constituents. 2) Encourage the county legislative authority to adjust compensation schedules to be competitive with other employers, provide more opportunities to work away from the office. 3) Advocate to the legislature that it does not create more complexity in the elections administration
My interest in voting system integrity goes back many years. In the last few years I’ve worked with the Election Integrity Committee, formed by concerned local citizens, among other organizations, uncovering the inconsistencies, anomalies, and weaknesses in our local voting system. The County Auditor position should NEVER be a political position. It should NEVER have any apparent ties to ever-present prevailing business or bureaucratic establishments. Any real or suspected collusion with such entities invites or allows partisan behavior to infect what should be a completely transparent and fair process. Sadly, our local execution of elections has become EXACTLY all that it should never be. I will work to reform the ethos of the Auditor office. It will become a place where voters can once again have faith in their elections, where employees and observers feel free to speak out against suspect processes and procedures, and immediately institute regular forensic audits of elections.
How will you increase voter participation?
Communicating that the more people who participate the better our democratic system works, that “every vote counts” and that the best way to move your community and country in the direction you prefer is to vote.
The very BEST way to increase voter participation is to prove to the voting electorate that the system is free and fair. When citizens are regularly denied access to the results of elections, told they are only "observers" in the process, denied access to the software used in the counting machines themselves, and are basically instructed to "trust" the system without verification- people just stop voting altogether. Young people have become the most affected group regarding this loss of faith in the honesty and transparency of our vote. Mail in voting and the complete loss of chain of custody casts a dark cloud over the entire system. The introduction of County mandated forensic audits of every election will restore the public's confidence in their vote, and subsequently increase voter participation in all demographic segments of the electorate.
How will you assure your voters that their votes are secure and counted accurately?
By conducting elections in compliance with federal and state laws in an transparent manner and responding promptly and comprehensively to questions, concerns and requests for information from constituents.
Very simple. I will immediately implement hand counting of every ballot received. We'll then cross check those hand count results with the machine tabulations. I will also encourage turning your ballot in to the Auditor office on Election Day. I will place cameras in every nook and cranny of the elections office so public eyes can be on every single action of vote counting. Our current Auditor refuses to allow cameras to record ANYTHING inside our County Auditor Office. I'll manually reconcile our Voter rolls with lists provided by the 3rd Party company ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) to finally clean Clark County's voter rolls for the first time in decades. Dirty voter rolls are the primary vehicle used by bad actors to manipulate voting results and disenfranchise the TRUE will of the electorate. Cleaning Clark County voter rolls is the first step to retoring faith in our broken election system.