Voting Options for All

Whether you enjoy the morning sitting at your kitchen table with your coffee and ballot, or insist on going in person to vote, King County gives you options. Find the way that works best for you!

Accessible Voting Center

Voters can use our Online  Ballot Marking Program to print out their ballot and return envelope. Ballots received in the mail or printed out can be marked and returned via USPS mail or to one of 43 ballot drop boxes throughout King County.

While online ballots have been designed to enable voters who are blind or vision- impaired to cast a private ballot, we have another option for voters with disabilities.

Three Accessible Voting Centers have trained staff and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) available to help voters with disabilities. AVUs come equipped with a touch screen, headphones, keypad and foot paddles. Our Accessible Voting Centers ensure everyone can exercise their right to a private, independent ballot and are open to all King County voters.

Everyone counts and we want to make sure voting is easy and accessible for all!

If you enjoy finding your ballot in the mailbox and voting at home, check your mail because ballots were sent out last week. Your vote is your voice! Share your voting tradition and the hashtag #kcvotes with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Ballot Drop Boxes Open

Ballot drop boxes are now open for the November 8 General Election. Once you vote, return your ballot to any one of the 43 drop boxes throughout King County. No stamp is necessary.

Did you know that more than 91% of County residents live within three miles of a ballot drop box?  Find the one nearest you on our ballot drop box map.  Drop boxes are open 24 hours a day and will close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

You can also mail your ballot through the Postal Service. You only need one stamp but ballots must be postmarked by November 8.

Covington Library

General Election Ballots are in the Mail

Today we mailed nearly 1.3 million ballots to registered voters for the November 8 General Election. This election could be a historic one for King County: we’re expecting more than 1 million ballots to be returned, a record number!

Ballot arriving in the mailNot sure what candidates or measures are on the ballot? King County households also will begin receiving their local voters’ pamphlet in the mail this week. You’ll 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 King County Elections office in Renton.

I want to encourage you to exercise your right to vote. We count every single ballot to ensure that each and every voter has their voice heard. Return your ballot through the Postal Service, which requires a first class stamp. Ballots must be postmarked by November 8. Or save a stamp and return your ballot to any of the 43 ballot drop boxes open for this election. More than 91% of King County residents live within three miles of a ballot drop box, making voting in our County more convenient than ever before. Drop boxes will be open 24 hours a day from October 20 to 8 p.m. on November 8, Election Day.

And if you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can still do so in person at the King County Elections office in Renton or the Voter Registration annex downtown.

~ Julie Wise, Elections Director

Going Out of Town? You’ve Got Options to Get Your Ballot

Ballots will be mailed on October 19th and the deadline to return your ballot is 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 8th.  Whether you’ll be travelling for business or kicking off a sun-filled vacation during this time, no need to worry!  You have a couple of options to get your ballot and vote:

  1. Give us a call at 206-296-VOTE (8683) and we can mail your ballot to anywhere in the world.
  1. You can access your ballot through our Online Ballot Marking Program. Simply mark, review and print your ballot for return to King County Elections. Overseas and service voters can also permanently request to receive their ballot using this program.

Bon voyage!

Extended Hours

King County residents not currently registered in Washington State still have until October 31st to come by in-person and complete their voter registration.

Feeling crunched for time? We can help!

The King County Elections Office is extending office hours and will be operating:

  • Monday, October 10, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 22, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 27, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday, October 28, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 29, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Monday, October 31, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Voter Registration Annex in downtown Seattle will be open Monday – Friday, October 24 – 31, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Don’t forget to check your mail box, ballots will be sent out on October 19th. We can assist you by phone, 206-296-VOTE (8683) or in-person to:

  • Get a replacement ballot
  • Return voted ballots
  • Resolve signature challenges
  • Vote at an Accessible Voting Center

But wait, didn’t we just say that voters receive their ballots in the mail? What’s an Accessible Voting Center? Check out next week’s Election Connection for the answer and more!

Our Phone Bank is Open!


20160804-phone-bank-1When will ballots be mailed? Is there a ballot drop box near me? I’ll be out of town for the election, can I still vote? How do I update my mailing address? I lost my ballot, what now?

These are just a few of the calls we often get around election time and you can rely on our incredible phone bank staff to answer your election questions!

Phone bank staffers take a two-day training, ending with a round of phone bank Jeopardy to test their knowledge and skills and help them prepare for the upcoming November General Election.  We quiz them on a ton of elections information so they will be ready to help our voters with any question that comes up.


Our phone bank officially opened on September 28 and we have  total of 37 team members ready to use all they have learned to assist King County voters. Calls are already coming in and so far, the top three voter questions pertain to voter registration updates, general voter registration information and an estimated delivery date for ballots. Each staff member is also at the ready with information on:

  • Getting a replacement ballot,
  • Using our online ballot marking program,
  • Returning voted ballots,
  • Locating a ballot drop box,
  • Resolving signature challenges, and
  • Voting at an Accessible Voting Center

Our phone bank team wants to make voting easier for you! Give us a call – 206-296-VOTE (8683).

New drop boxes are ready to roll!

As we’ve shared before, our new ballot drop boxes were a big success for the August 2 Primary. That’s why we’re so excited that there are 14 more for the November 8 General Election. New locations include:

Rainier Community Center
  • Beacon Hill Library
  • Bothell City Hall
  • Seattle Central College
  • Covington Library
  • Highline College (Des Moines)
  • Chinatown-International District, Uwajimaya
  • Kentridge High School
  • Kingsgate Library (Kirkland)
  • Muckleshoot Philip Star Building
  • Rainier Community Center
  • Renton Public Health Center
  • Snoqualmie Library
  • South Park Library
  • Green Lake Community Center

All 43 locations can be found on our ballot drop box map and will be open 24-hours-a-day starting October 20 until 8pm on Election night.

Covington Library

National Voter Registration Day

national voter registration day

Tuesday, Sept. 27 is National Voter Registration Day!

Don’t know what National Voter Registration Day is? We’ve got you covered. Started in 2012, NVRD is a non-partisan, unofficial national holiday, on which thousands of community groups and volunteers across the political spectrum register people to vote. It’s designed to create an annual moment when the entire nation focuses on helping Americans to exercise their most basic right—the right to vote.

So, what can you do? First, you can make sure your registration information is up-to-date. Next, you can encourage family, friends, neighbors – everyone! – to register to vote.

And if you’re really an over-achiever, you can:

  • Use tools provided by to encourage others to participate.
  • Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to help us celebrate #VoterRegistrationDay on social media.

Your vote is your voice and you can only use it if you are registered. So let’s get out there!

UOCAVA Ballots are in the mail

UOCAVA. Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. It’s a mouthful. It’s also a very important law that makes it easier for our service and overseas citizens to be able to vote. November 8th might seem like a long way away, but we mailed ballots today for King County’s UOCAVA voters.

We mail them this early to ensure that they have enough time to receive, vote and return their ballots and have their voices heard – no matter where they are in the world!

Other interesting tidbits about service and overseas voters:

  • A service voter is any active-duty member of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marine, Public Health Service, NOAA, and their family members (whether stationed domestically or abroad).
  • They can sign up for electronic notification and delivery of their ballot materials for every election.
  • They can return their ballot materials by mail, but also fax and email.  Whichever is easiest for them.
  • They receive periodic email reminders if we have not received their ballot yet.

Our goal is always to make voting as easy as possible and this is just one way we are removing barriers for citizens living outside the county or in the military.

What’s with the stub on my ballot?

General Election Ballot Stub

Ever wondered why there’s that stub at the top of your ballot that you’re supposed to remove? You’re not alone. That’s probably the #1 question we get on tours of King County Elections.

The answer is pretty simple, but important. The ballot stub is used by our printing vendor to make sure that you get all of your correct materials. The bar code on it makes sure that you get a ballot with the correct races, in the correct language, and that it’s mailed with the correct inserts and envelopes. It’s the tool we use for tracking everything before ballots are mailed.

However, when it comes time to tabulate ballots, the ballot stub can’t go through our scanners. So, if voters don’t remove them, our staff have to do it when they are opening ballot envelopes – which is time consuming and costly.

Want to know some other interesting ballot stub facts?

  • We actually changed the look of the stub on the August Primary ballots to reflect our new branding and to hopefully encourage more people to remember to remove them.
  • It worked! We weigh all the stubs we have to remove each election. For the May Presidential Primary we had 25.8 lbs of ballot stubs. For the August 2nd Election we had just 7.4 lbs (from nearly 60,000 more ballots).
  • We’ve heard anecdotally that some people collect their ballot stubs as a memento of all of the elections they’ve voted in. Do you? If so, take a picture and tweet it at us @kcelections and #ballotstubcollection!

So, the moral of the story is – (a) vote, and (b) remove your ballot stub!