Elections offices expect flood of mail-in ballots soon

October 29, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 2 p.m. Oct. 29, 2010

Secretary of State Sam Reed, the top elections official in Washington, predicted a flood of mail-in ballots during the final weekend before Election Day.

Reed encouraged voters to return ballots as early as possible in order to meet the Tuesday postmark deadline. Ballots must be postmarked or slipped into designated drop boxes by 8 p.m. King County Elections has added a drop box at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

“We welcome every single voter to take part in this very important election, and we want every single properly cast ballot to count,” Reed said in a statement. “I urge voters who haven’t returned their ballots yet to read up on the issues and races, and promptly return their ballots, either in the mail or in person at a drop box or the county elections office.”

Reed predicts 66 percent turnout among the state’s 3.6 million registered voters — or almost 2.4 million people. King County Elections predicts 67 percent turnout in areas outside of Seattle.

“The voters are wide awake and paying attention,” Reed said in the statement. “This is being called a ‘wave’ or ‘change’ election across the country, and here in Washington, we have a hot Senate race that some pollsters say is too close to call and congressional seats that both parties are targeting. We also have six initiatives and record spending, which fuels a lot of attention and airtime. We have great local elections and legislative and judicial races.”

Spending for the initiatives on the ballot topped $60 million. The ballot also includes three measures from the Legislature. Learn more about the nine ballot measures here.

“Top to bottom, it’s a very compelling election,” Reed continued.

The secretary of state also decried the amount of negative advertising, and renewed the call for civility in campaigning and governing.

“The voters expect and deserve better than they are hearing and seeing this campaign year,” he said.

The initial round of results should be released at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. Reed’s office has launched a slick iPhone app to track statewide tallies.

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