Canvasing Board rules that Kelly officially lives in Snohomish

Ruling repeals voter registration, sets stage for council to name replacement
By Dan Aznoff | Nov 18, 2017

Following a brief public hearing and an even shorter deliberation, the Snohomish County Canvasing Board ruled unanimously on Friday that Mill Creek City Councilmember Sean Kelly lives in Snohomish, which invalidates his voter registration in Mill Creek.

The hearing was held to address the challenge filed by Carmen Fisher, the councilmember’s opponent in the Nov. 7 general election.

Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel emphasized the board hearing pertained only to Kelly’s voter registration. Another process will be held to determine Kelly’s eligibility to serve on the Mill Creek City Council. No date for the subsequent hearing has been scheduled.

In her challenge filed on Oct. 27, Fisher claimed, “Kelly remains a Mill Creek property owner, but not a Mill Creek resident. Accordingly, his Voter Registration should be found invalid and updated to reflect his new address.”

Kelly’s residency has been in question since September when he told Mill Creek Beacon Publisher Paul Archipley that he had moved to Snohomish. The councilmember has repeatedly dodged questions regarding his residency posed by reporters from The Beacon as well as editors from the website News of Mill Creek.

When asked direct questions by Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jason Cummings about his residency at Friday’s hearing, Kelly reluctantly replied that he has been living outside Mill Creek city limits since July 28, 2017.

Cummings stated that Kelly’s testimony was the determining factor in the canvasing board’s decision to rescind Kelly’s voter registration.

This board’s ruling does not alter the results of the 2017 General Election. Kelly received approximately 72 percent of the votes in his bid for a second term on the council. Snohomish County Elections Manager Garth Fell pointed out that Fisher will not automatically be named the winner of the election by default if Kelly is unable to fulfill his term.

If Kelly is found to be disqualified to hold a seat on the city council, the remaining six members of the council will have up to 90 days to appoint a replacement.

Fisher, an attorney and entrepreneur, told The Beacon she would be “extremely disappointed” if she is not appointed to fulfill Kelly’s four-year term.

Richard Van Winkle of the website News of Mill Creek contributed to portions of this article.


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