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Secretary of state sending 136,000 more letters to voters over inexact Spanish translation in pamphlets

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Secretary of State Kim Wyman says she’ll send an additional 136,000 letters to voters in response to an inexact translation in voter pamphlets that could have led some to think they were not qualified to vote.

Wyman’s decision came Monday after state Democrats threatened to sue.

The initial voter pamphlet told voters that they would be ineligible to vote if they are under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington state felony. But the Spanish version translates “felony” as “delito,” a broader term for breaking the law that includes simple misdemeanors. Misdemeanors do not affect voting.

An attorney representing the Washington State Democratic Central Committee wrote that Wyman’s previous decision to send corrected letters to 647 voters who were potentially affected was not enough.

Wyman said she already had distributed the corrected translation to public libraries that received the Spanish language voter guide, also demanded by Democrats in their letter Monday.

Wyman said that the threats from state Democrats were “political gamesmanship.” Wyman is in the midst of a tough re-election bid against Democrat Tina Podlodowski.