Applications now open for 2018 Voter Education Fund

We’re excited to announce that applications are now open for the 2018 Voter Education Fund. King County Elections and Seattle Foundation are awarding $460,000 in grants to increase voter engagement in underserved communities.

Organizations encouraged to apply include, but are not limited to, those serving communities of color, limited-English speaking communities, people with disabilities, low-income youth, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and people who have been convicted of a felony.

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2017 Voter Education Fund grantees with staff from King County Elections and Seattle Foundation.

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How your Voter Registration becomes “Inactive”

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case about Ohio’s voter registration rules. Ohio has one of the most aggressive voter purge systems in the country. The state strikes voters from its rolls if they miss voting in two elections or fail to return a form confirming their mailing address. At issue is whether Ohio’s system violates the National Voting Rights Act, which says states can’t purge registered voters for failing to vote.

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In light of this case, we wanted to explain our process for inactivating a voter’s registration. When any correspondence we send to a voter (ballot, letters, ect.)  is returned to us as undeliverable, the voter’s registration becomes “inactive.” We also inactivate a voter’s registration if we receive information from the US Postal Service that the voter moved out of King County. Voters who are inactive will receive a confirmation card sent to every address we have on file for them to see if we can get their most current information.

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Top 5 Election Stories of 2017

Although it wasn’t a presidential election year, 2017 continued to tell the story of elections in King County and across the nation. From the Alabama senate race, to the Seattle mayoral primary, election news dominated the headlines in 2017.

As we close out the year, we looked back at our top five election stories in King County. Our most viewed blog post of 2017 showed how Seattle neighborhoods voted for mayor during the highly-contested primary. The results of our first pre-paid postage test was another story that was widely read and shared online. Check out the five most popular stories of 2017.

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All You Need to Know About Recall Elections

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Recall elections don’t happen very often in King County, but when they do, they provide an opportunity for voters to decide whether or not to remove an elected official from office. Recall elections must occur before the end of the elected official’s term. Continue reading

General Election 2017: Ballot Drop Boxes with the Most Returns

More than 53 percent of all returned ballots were brought to a drop box during the General Election. That’s the highest usage of our drop boxes yet! About 295,000 ballots were deposited in a drop box, versus 257,000 ballots mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. Voter turnout in King County was 43 percent.

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The 2017 Primary Election saw 48 percent of returned ballots brought to drop boxes. During the 2016 General Election, a majority of returned ballots (51.4 percent) were returned to drop boxes.

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Your Top General Election Questions Answered

Every election, voters call and email us with a number of questions. Why did I receive a ballot for the previous resident of my home? What do I do if I forgot to put my ballot in the security envelope? But each election fields a few questions specific to the races on that year’s ballot. Here are some of the most frequent questions we heard this election.

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1. I live in Seattle. Why aren’t any of the city’s candidates on my ballot?
If you live in Seattle and don’t see the city’s candidates on your ballot, it means you live in unincorporated King County. So, although you have a Seattle mailing address, you don’t live within the city limits, which means you don’t vote on city candidates or measures. There are 158,000 registered voters currently residing in unincorporated King County. These voters have mailing addresses in a specific city, such as Seattle or Renton, but don’t actually live within those city’s limits. For example, there are 9,594 voters living in White Center who have a Seattle address. Seattle candidates or measures do not appear on the voters’ ballots because their community falls outside Seattle’s boundaries.

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Here’s how to Track your Ballot…and More!

Election Day is approaching and you’re wondering: where’s my ballot? Or you’re not even sure if you’re registered.

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We’ve now made it easier than ever to find the information you need. Our new My Voter Information application helps you view your voter registration, track your ballot and even check your voting history.

Voters can see their current voter registration information, as well as the deadlines to update their registered address. And, voters eligible for the current election can see their voter registration details for the election. They can also see the candidates and measures on their ballot with links to the candidates’ statements in the voters’ pamphlet.

During an election, you can track your ballot at four different stages.

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Primary Election 2017: Drop Boxes with the Most Returns

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.

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How Seattle Voted in the Mayoral Primary

Updated 8/16/2017:

The race for Seattle mayor is now over, with Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon advancing to the November General Election. On Tuesday, King County Elections certified the August 2017 Primary Election. Now that election results are final, we dived back into the data to see how Seattle neighborhoods voted for mayor. (See our updated map below, which now includes voter turnout.) A lot has changed since Election Night: Nikkita Oliver gained three more neighborhoods, and Moon won her first neighborhood.

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Introducing our New Drop Boxes

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King County Elections Director Julie Wise, King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, and Michelle Drovdhal of the King County Library System, celebrate the opening of the ballot drop box at the Fall City Library.

King County Elections has opened 11 new ballot drop boxes in time for the August 1 Primary Election! Several of the new ballot drop-off locations received a drop box for the first time, including the Central District in Seattle, Fall City, Kenmore, Mercer Island, Newcastle, and Tukwila. King County now has a total of 54 drop boxes. About 94 percent of county residents live within 3 miles of a drop box. Continue reading