We’ve all had supervisors with unrealistic expectations.
They don’t want to provide proper resources. They don’t care what cost the task requires, as long as it doesn’t cost them, and they want the job done now.
It’s the ol’ “I don’t know how you will do it but make it happen.”
Leadership at Washington’s counties are all too accustomed to the unrealistic, lazy manager who is quick with great ideas, but fails to create a plan to make the ideas get off the ground.
In this case, that manager is the state Legislature.
The unrealistic goals are unfunded state mandates and the issue is about to come to a head.
A lawsuit is expected to be filed any day by the Washington State Association of Counties against the Legislature for a 2017 law dealing with ballot boxes.
The law requires counties to provide at least one ballot drop box in every city and town within their jurisdiction — as well as any census-designated place that has a post office — regardless of how many registered voters may live there.
In Whitman County, that resulted in 16 additional drop boxes for fewer than 15,000 registered voters. The boxes needed to be maintained and emptied regularly throughout the 18-day voting period by at least two people, as mandated by the state.
It leaves Washington’s 39 counties pinching pennies to staff and purchase the ballot boxes.
It also adds to the long list of mandates handed down from the state with no plan or revenue to make happen. The ballot box law was just the straw that broke the counties’ back.
We’re not against having a ballot box in every city in every county. We’re all for voter participation and access. If the state wants to act like it values the same, it should give the counties the resources to have a chance to make that happen.
That means money. Otherwise, the counties will fail, but we won’t be blaming them.