This year, we added 11 new ballot drop boxes in time for the August 1 Primary Election, for a total of 54 drop boxes. About 94 percent of county residents now live within 3 miles of a drop box.
Despite the increase in drop boxes, slightly more people chose to mail their ballots during the primary. About 52 percent of ballots were sent through the mail, compared to 48 percent that were brought to a drop box.
We don’t exactly know why fewer voters used a drop box. Perhaps the August 1 election date, when schools are closed and many families go on vacation, resulted in more voters mailing their ballots ahead of time. What we do know is that drop boxes are typically used by last-minute voters. On average, 70 percent of ballots returned to drop boxes are deposited on Election Day or on the day before.
Overall, drop box usage is increasing thanks to the availability of more drop boxes. About 36 percent of returned ballots were brought to a drop box during the August 2016 primary when King County Elections opened 19 additional drop boxes. By the 2016 General Election, we added another 14 ballot drop boxes and usage soared. A majority of returned ballots (51.4 percent) were returned to drop boxes.
As for which drop boxes had the most returns, the one at the Ballard Branch Library continues to lead the way. Here’s a look at the top 20 drop boxes with the most primary ballot returns. Although none of our newest drop boxes cracked the top 20, the Magnolia Park drop box was close, coming at #22 with 4,406 ballot returns.
- Ballard Branch Library: 15,278
- Redmond City Hall: 9,828
- King County Administration Building: 9,038
- Crossroads Shopping Center (Bellevue): 8,500
- King County Elections Building: 7,798
- City of Burien – Town Square Park: 7,451
- Lake City Library: 7,193
- Federal Way City Hall: 6,690
- Seattle Central College – Broadway-Edison Building: 6,568
- High Point Library: 6,541
- UW – Schmitz Hall: 5,883
- Broadview Library: 5,677
- Shoreline Library: 5,585
- Green Lake Community Center: 5, 534
- Kirkland City Hall: 5,241
- Sammamish City Hall: 5,202
- Lake Forest Park City Hall: 4,809
- Issaquah City Hall: 4,638
- Bellevue Regional Library: 4,565
- Regional Justice Center: 4,551