by David Ammons | November 4th, 2011
Washington’s 2011 ballot-return deadline is fast approaching.
Tuesday is the deadline to have a ballot postmarked or returned to an official ballot drop-off site. The state Elections Division is recommending return of completed ballots by Saturday if possible. If you think you’re registered to vote, but haven’t received a ballot, contact your county elections office. Voters can also double-check online by visiting www.myvote.wa.gov.
Secretary of State Sam Reed predicts a 47 percent ballot return, with roughly half of those to be processed and reported by the counties on election night. Other ballots will be in the courthouse, but not yet processed, and others will still be in the mail – including those from military and overseas voters. In order to be counted, the signature on each ballot envelope must match the one on file for the voter. This is a labor-intensive process, but very important in combating voter fraud.
Returns will be available starting after 8 p.m. Tuesday, and will be updated instantly as counties report in their results. Most counties, including King, will report only once on election night. Site will be www.vote.wa.gov.
The Secretary said he personally urges all Washingtonians to take part in this important election.
“We may not have exciting statewide or national races to vote on this year, but the election still is consequential. We have many local officeholders to choose and state and local propositions to decide. Voters in the Spokane Valley and Vancouver area will fill legislative vacancies and several judicial races will be on the ballot. All Washington voters will have the final say on three citizen initiatives, including one that has attracted record spending by national players. We also have two amendments to our state constitution.
“We encourage all voters to pull out their ballots and review the Voters’ Pamphlet and any county-produced voter information, media coverage, and campaign literature. Our online voters guide is a handy source of information, and we have partnered with TVW to produce the 2011 Video Voters’ Guide.
“So take a few minutes and fill out your ballot, following all directions, including signing your signature in the designated space. It’s simple – and so important for self-government. Don’t count yourself out.”
There are 3.66 million registered voters in Washington. This is the first statewide General Election run entirely by mail, since the last of the 39 counties, Pierce, made the switch to vote-by-mail this year.