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Opinion
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
 

In Our View: Kimsey superior choice for Clark County auditor

The Columbian
Published: October 2, 2022, 6:03am

For more than two decades, Greg Kimsey has served with integrity, honor and transparency as Clark County auditor. The Columbian’s Editorial Board strongly recommends that Kimsey be reelected to a position that includes overseeing local elections.

As always, this is merely a recommendation. The Columbian trusts that voters will study the candidates and the issues before casting an informed ballot.

An informed examination of Kimsey’s performance reveals that his office effectively manages and protects free and fair elections. He has earned sterling recommendations from both Republican and Democratic organizations, community leaders, labor and economic organizations, and private citizens who share an interest in effective and transparent government.

At a time when election results are subject to fabricated accusations of malfeasance, the transparency demonstrated by Kimsey’s office is particularly important. He diligently responds to inquiries about Clark County’s election process, and he told the editorial board during an interview, “I’m happy to talk with anyone about elections as long as they want.”

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey met with The Columbian's Editorial Board on Sept. 28 in Vancouver. Challenger Brett Simpson accepted an invitation to attend but cancelled shortly before the meeting began. Video

His stated goal is to conduct elections in a “transparent, responsible, secure manner” so “that you end up with more confidence in your government.”

Notably, the elections office publicly conducts hand counts of a portion of ballots for a high-profile race in each election, then compares those totals with the machine count. The results unfailingly match the machine count, and certification of those tests for each race are available on the office’s website.

Kimsey’s challenger, Brett Simpson, has embraced and repeated outlandish conspiracy theories about our election system.

Simpson had agreed to meet with the editorial board and Kimsey for a joint interview, but he canceled at the last minute through his campaign manager.

In public appearances, Simpson has claimed that elections are controlled by an international cabal and that George Soros and various power brokers have stolen American democracy, perpetrating “massive amounts of fraud in our elections here, and it’s not just in our county it’s in the entire state.”

In Washington, federal courts and the state Supreme Court have found that such claims are without merit. Throughout the country, dozens of courts and audits in numerous states have rejected claims of massive fraud during the 2020 election.

Simpson has filed lawsuits against Kimsey in conjunction with a state election integrity group. That group and its lead attorney have been fined by the state Supreme Court for bringing meritless lawsuits.

While questions about election security must be asked, Simpson’s approach is irresponsible and damaging to democracy, fomenting unfounded doubts in the public. He has embraced a shotgun approach to campaigning — firing out every half-baked theory he finds on the internet and hoping that something hits the target.

As Kimsey said: “Anyone who has evidence of fraud should contact law enforcement, the attorney general’s office, the state auditor’s office, the secretary of state’s office, the sheriff or the county auditor.”

In considering the candidates, we prefer somebody who has a history of integrity and transparency and can be relied upon to follow the facts of a situation. The Columbian’s Editorial Board strongly recommends a vote for Greg Kimsey as Clark County auditor.

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