SEQUIM — Michael Cobb, a candidate for Port of Port Angeles commissioner, has corrected a voter registration record of his residential address that he said he intentionally falsified to protect his partner from domestic violence.
Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs confirmed Friday that Cobb had successfully registered with the state Address Confidentiality Program run by the state Secretary of State’s Office.
It bars from public disclosure Cobb’s voter registration address and, Riggs said, all other information on Cobb’s voter registration form.
Riggs said she had seen the record of Cobb’s physical address and that it lies within Sequim-area District 1, where Cobb must reside to run for the District 1 seat held by incumbent Colleen McAleer.
Cobb said he had no “ulterior motives” in falsely filing his address as the port-owned John Wayne Marine, where he rents a boat slip.
Cobb had said in an earlier interview that his partner had told him she was a victim of domestic violence and he said he had listed the port-owned John Wayne Marina as his residential address on his voter registration form to protect her.
“I had the best intentions,” Cobb said Thursday.
Cobb said Thursday he did not know about the Address Confidentiality Program until a Peninsula Daily News reporter asked him about it.
The Auditor’s Office uses the voter registration address to verify candidates lives in the district whose voters they want to represent.
Falsifying information on a voter registration form is a Class C felony.
McAleer’s campaign had filed a voter registration challenge disputing Cobb’s address filing that was rejected by Riggs for being incomplete.
“I’m really glad it’s resolved and so the voters know that he is a candidate within District 1,” McAleer said Friday.
“I understand his reason for doing it, but that being said, circumventing state statute is never a great path.
“We can’t pick and choose which state statutes we want to follow.”
McAleer said he should have researched state statutes more thoroughly.
“I want to focus on the policy issues,” McAleer said.
“But this appears to be a trend of not adhering to the Washington Administrative Code and state statutes that he won’t be able to continue if he is ever elected to a public office.”
Cobb disputed McAleer’s assertions about a “trend” of allegedly not adhering to the law.
“We looked at the RCW on the requirements for candidates for addresses and so forth, and it doesn’t apply,” Cobb said Friday.
“Her idea is hot air.”
Cobb’s address contained in the candidate registration form that he filed with the county Auditor’s Office and contact information and candidate registration with the state Public Disclosure Commission remains incorrect, with the John Wayne Marina address listed as his residence.
“It’s past time to amend any information about that,” he said.
Another Michael Cobb in Sequim was readying a challenge to the candidate’s voter registration.
McAleer supporter Michael E. Cobb of Sequim, a cross-country track coach at Sequim High School, said Friday he will not file the challenge against Michael R. Cobb, the candidate.
“There’s no reason, since he has approval from the [state] Secretary of State’s Office to proceed without his address being revealed,” he said.
“It wasn’t clear that he was capable of running with an address that appeared to not be a living address,” Michael E. Cobb added.
He said he wanted to ensure that Michael R. Cobb was registered at an address that would allow him to run for the Sequim-area position.
“If he wasn’t, there was no reason for Colleen to have to run against him,” Michael E. Cobb said.
He said he was planning to file the challenge to let the public know that he was a supporter of McAleer and not the person running against her.
“People were asking me all the time, am I running for office,” Michael E. Cobb said.
“I said no, I’m not running against Colleen; I’m endorsing Colleen.”
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].