I live in Seattle and helped a friend of mine get her voting rights
restored. She had voted for years, assuming that her rights had been
restored, and after the Governor fiasco in 2004, she decided to find
out if she was in fact voting legally.
The ACLU helps people determine the status of their voting rights
--for free, any citizen that asks!
To answer your question...
In Washington State there is no system in place that automatically
checks or cross references voters and felons. Someone must think to,
and WANT TO do it, --they must request records, search public records
of the voting rolls and of felons. Even then, EACH felon's record
would have to be looked at by hand to determine if the state sent in
the required form to determine which felons have NOT had their rights
If the state didn't send in the form, it's possible that someone with
their rights 'restored' could be falsely accused of improper/illegal
voting, when in fact they have earned the right back by completing
their sentence including all parole/probation and paying all
This actually happened during the last Governor's Race.
GOP seeks criminal records
..."Republicans want a copy of the state's criminal-records database
to compare it with the names of the nearly 3 million people who voted
in the governor's race, as party attorneys search for felons who cast
Yesterday, attorneys for Dino Rossi and the Republican Party asked the
State Patrol for an electronic copy of that database, the Washington
State Identification System. The list contains more than 1.2 million
records. Republicans are hoping to do a quicker and less expensive
search than what is available to the general public.
The records include names, birth dates, charges and outcomes of the
cases, including felonies and some misdemeanors. Republicans are
looking for felons because felons are not allowed to vote unless their
voting rights have been restored..."
Ant this article:
GOP's request for criminal list raises concern
...""This is public information, available on our Web site," DeVere said.
DeVere said Republicans originally requested background checks on
800,000 people He referred them to the Web site, but DeVere said the
GOP balked at the $10 per person background-check fee...."
[ ..they are referring to this public database:
WSP Watch ($10 per person lookup)
...and checking it against the public voter database here:
Washington State Voter Database (free lookup)
...."Republicans said it was more a matter of having to enter
information for each person manually.
DeVere said the state will only release a list of those people with
felony convictions to Republicans
Julya Hampton, legal program director for the American Civil Liberties
Union of Washington, said her biggest concern is that the state
database is incomplete and inaccurate.
The list is not automatically updated in cases where people have had
their right to vote restored.
"The only way to verify someone who has had their right to vote
restored is to look at their court record," said Peter Schalestock,
legal coordinator for the Rossi Campaign and the state GOP. "We will
do that before we go to court. We will take every step possible to
ensure that the people we name are actually ineligible." ..."
---Note the article states that out of 2.9 million Washington State
votes, 1.2 million Washington Residents have a criminal history. This
makes it virtually impossible to check, and the records are not
updated or maintained regularly. It took my friend a couple months
with the ACLU's help to find her records from the early 1980's and
determine whether the proper form had in fact been sent in. (It had!).
I hope this information is good news to you. If I can be of further
assistance, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification before
rating my answer.
"Washington State" Felon voting OR voter discovery
"Washington State" Background Check WSP Watch
"Washington State" Voter Database