Judge declares John Ley to be an ineligible candidate in the 18th Legislative District race for representative

Superior Court Judge David Gregerson ordered Friday that John Ley is an ineligible candidate for Washington State’s 18th Legislative District State Representative Position No. 2.
John Ley

The Clark County Elections Office will mail a notice to each unique mailing address of all active registered voters in the 18th Legislative District

VANCOUVER – Superior Court Judge David Gregerson ordered Friday that John Ley is an ineligible candidate for Washington State’s 18th Legislative District State Representative Position No. 2. In his ruling, Gregerson directed the Clark County Canvassing board, in its certification of the 2022 primary election, to not include votes cast for Ley.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey told Clark County Today Friday afternoon that Aug. 2 primary election ballots that are returned with votes for Ley will be counted. In addition to Ley, the other candidates for the seat in the Washington State Legislature include Brad Benton, Duncan Camacho and Greg Cheney. Two candidates will advance from the primary to the Nov. 8 general election. 

“Votes for John Ley will be counted, but they will not be used to determine which two candidates will appear on the general election ballot, as per the judge’s order,’’ Kimsey said. “The ballot they receive today, or the next few days, is a valid ballot. If they return that ballot properly signed, it will be processed and tabulated.’’

On May 26, Ley’s voter registration was challenged by Vancouver resident Carolyn Crain, who alleged he did not reside at the address that he provided when updating his voter registration on April 4. Following a public hearing on June 28, the challenge to Ley’s voter registration was upheld by Kimsey.

On July 11, Crain and Penny Ross filed action with Clark County Superior Court alleging that Ley is an ineligible candidate because he was not properly registered to vote in the 18th Legislative District at the time he filed his declaration of candidacy. According to a news release from the county, today’s order is in response to Crain and Ross’s action.

The order further states “with respect to the 2022 election for the office of 18th Legislative District, State Representative, Position 2, the top two candidates . . . certified as qualified to appear on the general election ballot pursuant to RCW 29A.52.112(2), shall be the two highest vote-getters for such office other than John Ley.” In addition, “votes cast for [Ley] . . . on 2022 primary election ballots will not be used to determine which two candidates for that office [of the 18th Legislative District] will appear on the 2022 general election ballot.” 

The Clark County Elections Office will mail a notice to each unique mailing address of all active registered voters in the 18th Legislative District informing them of the judge’s order and its effect. Those letters are expected to be mailed Monday.

Clark County voters began receiving their ballots for the Aug. 2 primary election on July 15. As the judge stated in his order “printing and mailing new 2022 primary election ballots without Mr. Ley’s name listed as a candidate is prohibitive.” As Kimsey stated, ballots with John Ley’s name printed on them are valid ballots and when returned by voters will be processed pursuant to federal, state and county laws.

Ley expressed his disappointment in the decision when reached by Clark County Today Friday.

“No. 1, I believe this will disenfranchise any voter who will choose to vote for me,’’ Ley said. “No. 2, I was not even invited to be a party to the hearing, nor the discussion. Most importantly, this is Greg Kimsey putting his thumb on the scale to impact an election when he is supposed to be a neutral party.’’

“The Secretary of State’s Office agreed Kimsey had made the correct ruling (on July 8) and now Kimsey is disagreeing with the secretary of state that he made the correct ruling,’’ Ley said. “Obviously, I am very disappointed to not even be a party to the process. Furthermore, I will now be evaluating my next steps.’’

Kimsey said approximately 54,000 letters will be mailed to voters in the 18th Legislative District. He didn’t know what the cost to the county would be at the time of this report.

“It will come out of the Election Reserve Fund and be included in the cost of administering the cost of the August primary,’’ Kimsey said.

Kimsey disagreed with Ley’s belief that he was “putting his thumb on the scale to impact an election.

“No, I’m not at all uneasy,’’ Kimsey said when asked about the county’s actions. “The county has been completely uninvolved in these legal actions, the actions that Carolyn Crain and Penny Ross have sought through the court system. I would entirely reject that the county has been involved in any of Carolyn Crain’s processes with the judge. All we have done is react to what’s going on.’’

Editor’s note: John Ley is a former Clark County Today staff reporter. After 20 months as a full-time reporter, Ley resigned his position on April 22, prior to registering as a political candidate. Like other members of the community he occasionally still contributes content.

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  1. Margaret

    As a follow up, I hope Clark County Today will report on what efforts the Clark County Auditor, and/or the Secretary of State take to cross check voter rolls with other states to insure that those who register to vote in Clark County, WA do live here, in accordance with state laws and the constitution. In addition, what efforts are made to cross check the “active” voter rolls with official death records to insure those who have passed away are not mailed a ballot? Reportedly, some former residents of WA state have received ballots after they died, and some of those ballots were voted.

    1. Carolyn Crain

      I have not seen dead people voting in Clark County. Seriously do you have names? Both of my relatives that dies were removed from the voter rolls and I received a letter from elections which was extremely polite and even kind regarding my loss.

      1. Margaret

        The Clark County resident voter I know of who passed away in Clark County got a ballot in a subsequent election. Elections Dept. was called and they explained that cancellations could not be accepted over the phone, yet didn’t suggest how to correct. Another election, another ballot mailed, and not voted. it takes a written procedure to cancel.

        2005: ” At least eight people who died well before the November general election were credited with voting in King County, raising new questions about the integrity of the vote total in the narrow governor’s race. ..The state is required by law to send monthly lists of the deceased to county auditors so they can purge those names from their voter rolls. But those lists are sent only every few months. That means thousands of deceased voters may have been sent absentee ballots.” Dead voted in governor’s race. Seattle PI

        2016 “73 people in Washington and 48 in Oregon appear to have voted twice—either in two of the states or twice in their home state. In addition, one Washington and six Oregon households were flagged for mailing in ballots belonging to dead people.

        The Washington State Office of the Secretary of State found 142 cases of suspected improper voting in the 2018 general election.
        The cases included people who potentially voted in more than one county or state, and people who voted with ballots belonging to deceased individuals.”

        The Pierce County, Wash., auditor confirmed that five dead people voted in the 2020 presidential election...Since the ballots weren’t discovered before they were accepted — and ballots are separated from their security envelopes and become anonymous during tabulation — there’s no way to know how the final vote counts were effected, she said.

        1. Carolyn Crain

          Did this person die in our county? Washington State Law requires the mortuary to forward papers regarding all persons who they are responsible for interring to the county records and elections. If they passed away outside of the state it could be an issue. Then the procedure is for the individual family to send a copy of the death certificate to the county.

          1. Margaret

            Which WA State Law “requires the mortuary to forward papers regarding all persons who they are responsible for interring to the county records and elections.” Please cite the RCW law including chapter and section.

  2. David

    Wow, not an honest bone in Ley’s body. Running a scam on the voters of the 18th, then trying to blame the auditor for what a judge ruled when he got caught. She on the guy.

    1. Mary

      David, You can only wish that someday you could have half the class of the supreme gentleman that is John Ley. John has never wavered in his commitment to do what is best for Clark County.

      You and your family will never be able to compete.

  3. Awoken Patriots

    Patriots of Clark County, why is this happening to John Ley? Those of you that have been watching from the beginning, you can see how Kimsey is maneuvering candidates so Greg Cheney can be elected (There golden boy ). John Ley knows more about the bridge and tolls and why its bad news for Vancouver than anyone else. He is the only one that is outspoken about this. Your watching in real time the establishment and corporations influencing our election. Something has got to change. Where’s our legislators? There to busy asking us about budgets when they should be making sure our elections has integrity. Wake up Vancouver!

    1. Mary

      Has anyone asked Greg Cheney his position on the bridge? His website is silent. Considering the 18th position will very likely include a seat on the board, it is a question that needs a published position.

  4. Carolyn Crain

    Greg Kimsey followed the law in his work with regards to this issue. If I had not filed in Superior Court the voters in the 18th could have never had a choice between two eligible candidates in November. Now they do. Furthermore, if in the future someone from say King County decides they have a better chance of winning in the 17th or the 18th and so they just want to register to vote down here in order to win an election that would be horrible. The law says you must reside in the district you register to vote in and those are the perimeters for being qualified to run for office. I personally like John’s stance regarding the bridge so I wish he had filed to run in the 17th district where he lives. Sadly, he chose a less honorable action. In our Republic the right of representation is the governmental foundation of our freedom and the voters legitimate choice has been restored. Laws will be addressed to ensure these things are not requiring a court case to solve them every time someone decides to take actions with “malfeasance” as the judge called it. That is a good thing too.


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