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Washington State News

Washington Supreme Court Orders $28k Sanctions in 2020 Election Lawsuit

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that his office successfully sought sanctions from a group pursuing a legal challenge of the 2020 election, along with its attorney. The sanctions order comes after Ferguson defeated the lawsuit.

The Washington Election Integrity Coalition United (WEICU) has been ordered to pay $9,588.80, and its attorney, Virginia Shogren, has been ordered to pay $18,795.90 as sanctions for bringing a case totally devoid of legal merit.

Ferguson will also file a complaint against Shogren with the Washington State Bar Association seeking further discipline. That complaint will come in the next few weeks.

As part of its case, WEICU alleged that non-citizens were fraudulently registered to vote. The court found the Coalition “offers no competent evidence of voter fraud based on noncitizen voter registration.”

“Attorneys and organizations who attack our democracy and abuse our legal system must face accountability,” Ferguson said. “We will continue fighting to protect our elections from these baseless lawsuits that push ‘the Big Lie.’”

“Misinformation and disinformation is a threat to the functioning of our democracy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Those who intentionally spread lies and undermine our elections must be held accountable. I appreciate the attorney general’s efforts to ensure truth prevails.”

WEICU filed this lawsuit against the state in the Washington State Supreme Court, alleging hundreds of thousands of ballots cast in the 2020 general election were altered. The group offered no evidence for this claim, and the lawsuit was dismissed due to multiple legal deficiencies.

Because of the nature of the case, Ferguson asked the Washington Supreme Court to impose sanctions against the WEICU and Shogren. The court agreed, and ordered the group and Shogren personally to pay the state’s costs in defending the case.

WEICU also filed separate lawsuits in eight counties: Whatcom, Clark, Snohomish, King, Thurston, Pierce, Lincoln, and Franklin counties.

Loren Culp’s lawsuit challenging the 2020 election
In January 2021, the campaign for gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp filed a lawsuit challenging the 2020 election. The complaint included assertions of voter fraud. The Attorney General’s Office responded by informing the attorney for the campaign that they would seek sanctions if the campaign continued with its lawsuit. In response, the Culp campaign dropped its lawsuit the next day.