King County mailed more than 1.16 million ballots to voters via the U.S. Postal Service Oct. 17, and registered voters should have received their ballots by now.
This is the first presidential election since King County began voting by mail and since Washington became an all vote by mail state.
“Voters should watch for their ballots in the mail and contact us if they haven’t received it by Monday, Oct. 22,” said Sherril Huff, Elections Director.
King County voters should also be receiving their voters’ pamphlet in the mail. Voters will receive two voters’ pamphlets, a local one from King County and a state one from the Office of the Secretary of State. Voters’ pamphlets are available online, at Seattle and King County libraries, and at the Elections office in Renton.
You can vote and return your ballot as soon as you receive it. Ballots can be returned through the Postal Service, which requires a first class stamp, or they may be returned to any of the 15 ballot drop-off locations open for this election. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 6 or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on election day.
The county will use ballot drop-off vans as temporary drop-off locations again this election. The staffed vans first debuted in the August primary and will be at Kirkland City Hall, West Seattle Stadium and the University of Washington from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday before election day, and from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on election day. Ballots can also be returned to accessible voting centers during their business hours.
Tips for voting:
Read the entire ballot top to bottom, and front to back before voting
Read the voters’ pamphlet
Use a black ink pen to fill out the ballot
Tear the stub off of the top of the ballot
Sign the voter declaration on the back of the envelope using your official signature
Return your ballot early so that it is part of the Election Night results report and there is enough time to correct any issues that may be associated with your signature
In person registration deadline Oct. 29
King County residents not currently registered to vote in Washington can register in person at the King County Elections office or the Voter Registration Annex through 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29.
Two ballots in the mail?
County officials also said Oct. 22 that because many voters either register or update their information during the time ballots are being prepared for mail, some voters could receive two ballots – one that has actually been suspended (but not in time to prevent it being mailed) and a second “replacement” ballot that is current and ready to be voted.
“There are safeguards built into the voter registration system as well as the ballot processing system to ensure that no voter can vote more than one time even if they have received more than one ballot,” said Elections Director Sherril Huff.
Voters who receive two ballots should vote the ballot in the envelope marked “replacement ballot” which is accompanied by a printed explanation and instructions. Anyone with questions should contact the Elections Department at 206-296-VOTE (8683) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
--Information from King County.