It’s official! Prepaid postage is here!

Monday was a big day for us. We are thrilled to announce that prepaid postage within King County was officially approved by the King County Council.

It will impact the upcoming primary and general elections, starting with our August primary election, and is one more way we are removing barriers for our voters!

“Prepaid postage along with our ballot drop boxes makes it easy for everyone to exercise their civic right to vote,” says Elections Director Julie Wise.

We look forward to how prepaid postage will encourage higher ballot return rates and allow all communities to become further engaged in the elections process.

Thank you to the community, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and the King County Council for your support!

For more information, read our official press release here.

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Voter Education Fund kickoff was a success!

It was a long day of training and information but the recipients of our Voters Education Fund program were happy to participate!

Thank you to every organization who came to our kickoff today and who is doing great things to help expand voter education and outreach to underserved communities throughout King County!

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Helpful video to find voting data by precincts

Are you interested in finding past election results and other information according to precinct levels? We’ve put together a short tutorial video that goes over all the available information within the King county interactive precinct level election results data. It explains how to use the filter tool to drill down into more specific data, and how to export this information for later use.

The instructional video is posted on our Past elections webpage and will be linked to from the current election results as well.

Press conference held to announce prepaid postage request

On Wednesday, March 28, we held a press conference to share our proposal for prepaid postage with local media. The press conference featured our director Julie Wise, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Councilmember Rod Dembowski.

“When I was elected, one of my commitments was to remove barriers to voting,” Julie said. “As we increase access with prepaid postage and ballot drop boxes, we’re beginning to see a real impact.”

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Pictured: Left to right, Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Elections Director Julie Wise, King County Executive Dow Constantine.

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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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2018 Legislative Priorities

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With the Washington State Legislature convening this coming Monday, January 8 we wanted to share our 2018 legislative priorities. As always, our goal is to make voting as accessible and barrier-free as possible. Here’s a look at what Director Wise will be supporting in Olympia over the next two months:

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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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