New ballots are on the way for about 75 voters in Thurston County, according to Auditor Mary Hall.
The voters were originally sent a ballot that included the election of fire commissioners for Thurston County Fire Protection District No. 8, also known as South Bay Fire.
But it turns out, they live in the neighboring Lacey Fire District 3, which has commissioners and a 20-year, nearly $20 million proposed construction bond measure on the ballot. If approved, the bond would fund a new fire station and pay for other building renovations as well as vehicle and equipment upgrades.
A Lacey Fire official contacted Elections staff after he noticed South Bay Fire ballots were sent to a neighborhood in the Jubilee area of northeast Lacey, Hall said.
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Hall said her office worked with the Assessor’s Office to confirm that the voters who live in the new subdivision off Marvin Road do indeed live in Fire District 3. On Wednesday, the voters were sent new ballots and a letter about what happened.
Hall said it’s important for voters to use the new ballots. For those who already voted, a “hold” was been placed on the old ballots, which means they’ve been flagged and won’t get counted in the General Election, Hall said.
She said it’s not an uncommon occurrence with new housing developments. It took officials about six hours to untangle the district’s boundaries.
“Apparently there was a map error back in 1968 that didn’t match the legal description,” Hall said.
Since it was vacant land until recently, the mistake went undiscovered for nearly 50 years.