A man associated with a group which fought against the city of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage question’s the legitimacy of the public vote on the issue.
Wenatchee resident Jac Cates, who worked with Common Sense SeaTac, claims about 16-hundred people casting ballots in the election did so illegally.
He says, when canvassing voters, the organization found many were not citizens.
“A lot of them were registered through motor voter. Also, many of them were registered through SEIU 775. They were told by the person registering them because it was a local contest that they didn’t have to be citizens, which is false. And it still is I believe.”
SEIU-7-7-5 is Service Employees International Union, which represents home health care workers in Washington state.
Cates says Common Sense SeaTac attempted to contest registrations of people it determined to be voting illegally, but consideration of those claims was delayed until after the window of opportunity to submit them closed.
“They tried to go through the Secretary of State’s office, and they weren’t getting much help. In fact, some of the contested registrations were actually put in after the deadline to where we could actually contest them.”
David Ammons with the Secretary of State’s office said he hadn’t heard of contested registrations over the SeaTac vote, noting it was not a state run election.
He went on to say anyone registering through the motor voter process has to swear he or she is a U.S. citizen.
SEIU 775 said it had to register a heavily young, immigrant population to make the vote competitive. Cates contends too many people casting ballots were not legal citizens, and shouldn’t have been voting.
SeaTac was the first municipality in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage in 2013. It was quickly followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Orange County. New York and California are phasing in $15 minimum wage laws at the state level over several years