FAQ on King Conservation District Election

  • What is the King Conservation District?

The King Conservation District (KCD) is a natural resources assistance agency that promotes the sustainable use of natural resources through responsible stewardship. KCD’s service area includes 34 cities and all of unincorporated King County. Excluded are the cities of Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish.

For residents in the KCD service area, the organization provides education, training and technical assistance on issues such as water quality protection, wildlife habitat enhancement, farm conservation plans, soil and slope stability information, native plant products, manure match information, volunteer opportunities, and stream restoration.

  • What is the King Conservation District Election?

First, it’s important to note that this is a unique election. Unlike most special purpose districts, the King Conservation District is authorized to run their own elections. KCD is not governed under the same election laws as most other jurisdictions and has a great deal of flexibility in how they conduct their elections.For the election currently underway they have contracted with King County Elections to assist with ballot processing.

KCD has chosen to utilize mobile voting technology this year in an attempt to increase participation. In prior years, voters have had to request KCD to mail them a ballot, vote, and then return it. This technology is meant to make ballot access easier.  

A five-member Board of Supervisors is responsible for overseeing all KCD programs and activities. Three members are elected by voters and two are appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission. There is currently an election underway for one position on the Board of Supervisors for a six year term.  Election Day is February 11 and ballots are available now on the KCD website

  • Is the King Conservation District Election secure?

Yes. The King Conservation District made the decision to contract with a well-respected vendor, DemocracyLive, to provide this secure online ballot access and return portal. King County Elections works with DemocracyLive to provide military and overseas voters electronic access to their ballots and have never had a security breach or issue with that system. The system has been extensively tested by local and national IT security experts.

There’s no special app, there’s no electronic storage of votes. Instead a voter’s choice is recorded onto a PDF, which they then verify before submission. That PDF submission arrives to our offices electronically and is printed to go through the same ballot processing procedures that we use for our mail-in ballots here in Washington State, including signature verification.

  • Are all King County elections going to use mobile voting technology?

No. We believe strongly in the vote-by-mail system that we currently use. This is not a pilot program of King County Elections nor is it a system that we plan to utilize in the future.

  • Can I vote in the King Conversation District Election?

If you live in King County and not in the cities of Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish, then YES, you can vote in the KCD election. If you are already registered to vote, you don’t need to do anything else – just go online to access your ballot.

Information about the candidates running for the KCD Board of Supervisors position can be found on the King Conversation District website as well as on the online platform through which you can also access your ballot. 

  • How can I return my ballot?

There are three ways to return your ballot:

  • Voters may submit their ballot electronically through the same platform they used to access it. 
  • Voters may print and mail their ballot to King County, Elections, 919 SW Grady Way, Suite 200, Renton, WA 98057.
  • Votes may print and return their ballot to a King County Elections ballot drop box. Locations can be found on here.

Voters can also go in-person to the King Conservation District’s Office, 800 SW 39th St., Suite 150, Renton, WA 98057 from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, February 11.

Did you receive two ballots? Don’t worry, we’ll only count one.

In every election – special, primary, or general – approximately 2% of King County voters receive a second ballot. That second ballot is typically triggered by an update in one’s voter registration record – through King County Elections or the Department of Licensing – such as an address change, name change, or even just updating their phone number. Updates made after the ballots have gone to print are more likely to trigger this duplication and with same-day registration and the deadline for updates made online moved back, it is likely that more voters will be issued second ballots.

We always hear concern from voters – what happens if I get two ballots? Am I in trouble? Will both be counted?

The short answer is no – you are not in trouble and your two ballots will not be counted, just the first one returned.

For every registered voter, they have a voter record and only one ballot can be counted for that record. It is extremely rare that a voter tries to return two ballots. Every ballot includes the declaration that the voter is not attempting to vote twice and that an attempt to vote twice could result in prosecution and is punishable with up to 5 years in jail, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. What we see here in King County is that our voters are overwhelmingly honest, well-intentioned people who want to follow the rules and want to make sure their vote gets counted.

While our staff and the voter registration database stop many more second ballots from going out the door, inevitably a few make it through. This is true in every county. As the county with nearly one-third of the entire state’s registered voters and the center of the state’s media market, second ballots certainly draw more attention here in King County. 

We have several layers of checks and balances in our ballot processing system to catch any second ballots that come to ensure that one person, one vote is upheld – no matter how many ballots a voter tries to return.