by David Ammons | June 27th, 2012
Katie Blinn, co-director of Elections, has informed the U.S. Department of Justice that all military and overseas ballots went out by last Saturday, in compliance with the federal law that all such voters be sent their ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. Some were sent by surface mail and others were emailed, depending on the voter’s wishes.
Secretary of State Sam Reed, chief elections official for the state, praised the 39 county elections offices for expediting the military and overseas ballots. He noted that the Legislature approved his proposal for an earlier primary in order to accommodate the government’s new 45-day rule. Previously, the state also counted the three weeks after Election Day as part of the transit time, since the state requires only that the ballot by postmarked by Election Day from anywhere on the globe.
“Our state and county elections staff really enjoy going the extra mile to register and serve our overseas and military voters. Our servicemembers are true heroes, often serving in hostile and dangerous parts of the world. Our overseas voters include Peace Corps members and relief workers, missionaries, and businesspeople whose work carries them away from Washington state. Our thoughts are with them all and we wish them safety and success, and remind them that we definitely want their voices heard back home.”
According to a 39-county list compiled by the Elections Division, King County, home to one voter in three, has the most military and overseas voters, with 12,574 ballots sent out last week. Next is Pierce County, home to Joint Base Lewis McChord, where 10,405 ballots went out. No. 3? Kitsap, with 5,972. Thurston is next at 4,362, and Spokane (3,722) and Snohomish (3,535) are close behind. Island County sent out 2,112 ballots and Clark 1,737. All 39 counties reported at least some military and overseas voters.