Ballot returns for Feb. 9 election outpace elections office projections

January 29, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10:35 a.m. Jan. 29, 2010

Voters outpaced King County Elections’ estimates for projected daily returns by more than 10,000 ballots. Officials expected fewer ballots would be returned by Wednesday, but the office had received more than 120,000 ahead of the Feb. 9 special election. About 140,000 ballots — or 13 percent — had been received by Thursday.

King County voters will decide a library levy lid lift, and Issaquah School District voters will weigh three school levies in the all-mail election. Officials had received 8,410 ballots — or about 15 percent — of the ballots from school district voters by Thursday.

“We base our projections on voter behavior from previous elections to help us prepare for each upcoming election,” Superintendent of Elections Evelyn Arnold said in a statement. “We’re always pleased when voters exceed our expectations by getting their ballots back to us earlier than expected because it allows us to report a higher count on Election Day.”

Officials expect 35 percent turnout — or about 350,000 votes — for the February contest. Counting begins 8 p.m. Election Day, and the initial results will be posted on the elections office Web site at 8:15 p.m.

“It would be wonderful to see this trend continue,” Arnold said. “There are many important decisions being made in this election and we hope to see more ballots come in than projected each and every day.”

Voters must postmark ballots by Feb. 9. Voters can also return ballots by 8 p.m. Election Day to drop-off locations at the King County Administration Building, 500 Fourth Ave., Seattle, or the elections office, 9010 E. Marginal Way S., Tukwila.

Monday is the deadline for in-person voter registration. Learn how to register, track a ballot or create a personalized voter guide here.

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