August 4, 1992 Mail Delay Derails Senate Campaign

By The World staff and The Associated Press
The Wenatchee World
  

OLYMPIA – The secretary of state’s office says Ephrata doctor Mohammad Said is not in the running as a candidate for the U.S. Senate and never was.

The office said it received Said’s check and filing forms Monday morning, past last Friday’s 5 p.m. filing deadline.

At a press conference in Spokane on Monday, Said said he discovered his name was not on the candidate listings, though he sent his forms and check by certified mail on July 27.

Calling by cellular phone this morning en route to a pres conference in Seattle, Said said he is starting an investigation of the incident and is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Post Office and the secretary of state’s office.

“I cannot understand,” he said. “I sent my papers and check very correctly.”

Said, 53, an Ephrata doctor and Palestinian native, said he suspects someone may have delayed his filing on purpose.

“My civil rights have been violated,” he said. “I have the certified receipt, but the letter was not there.”

The secretary of state’s office said it received Said’s check and forms after Friday’s deadline, and there was nothing it could do about it.

“If they mail, we have no control,” said Barbara Siemion of the secretary of state’s office. “We can only process them as quickly as we can handle them.”

Siemion said Said’s letter was addressed with the wrong post office box number. Even though the letter was postmarked July 27, Siemion said state statutes require the office to refuse any filings received past the deadline period for whatever reason.

Ephrata postal worker Clyde Small said mail sent to Olympia usually takes two days.

“I’ve never encountered anything like this before,” he said.

Said, 53, announced he was filing as a Democrat for the position held by Brock Adams. Born in Palestine, Said is active in Mideast politics and the state Democratic party. He has lived in Ephrata for 10 years and became a U.S. citizen in 1980.

Official candidates for the position are state Sen. Patty Murray, and former U.S. Representative Don Bonker.

Said’s platform focuses on the development of open trade with Muslim countries, non-military participation in the reconstruction of Iraq, a federal health care program and campaign reforms.