“We lost track of 1,300 sex offenders,” the actress says. “We know they’re out there. But thanks to Governor Gregoire, we have no idea where.” That’s the message to voters delivered in television ads and a few hundred thousand mailers on behalf of Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Republican opponent, former state Sen. Dino Rossi. Missing from the attacks is another figure: 1,637, the number of missing registered sex offenders in the state the year Gregoire took office, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
State Patrol records back the GOP claim, showing that local police can’t account for 1,381 Washington sex offenders. But state records also show that the number of sex offenders unaccounted for has decreased 16 percent since August 2004, in part, state officials say, because of increased funding for face to face sex offender monitoring. Gregoire signed 25 bills related to sex offenders since taking office in 2004, including measures increasing the penalties for offenders who fail to register with local law enforcement.