King County could break election record

November 2, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 9:40 p.m. Nov. 2, 2010

King County Elections included results from 373,941 ballots in the initial tally released Tuesday night, and the county could set a record for mail voting in the days head.

Contests to represent Issaquah in the Legislature produced some surprises and close races in the initial results.

The office received more than 120,000 ballots in the mail Tuesday. The next round of results is due to be released at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

King County has estimated a total election return of about 720,000 ballots — or 68 percent of voters. The tally released Wednesday should reflect about 45,000 additional ballots.

The return could set a record. The elections office received 650,000 ballots during the 2008 presidential election, the current record holder.

The office expects to receive a greater amount of mail Wednesday, because many voters waited until Election Day to mark and return ballots.

“While it’s not unusual to experience lines on Election Day, we have seen a record number of voters show up at all of our Accessible Voting Centers to replace lost ballots or ballots that were accidentally destroyed, or even some that never made it to a current address,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement Tuesday night. “For the most part, voters have been very patient and acknowledged that they were aware they should have contacted us sooner.”

The elections office deployed some additional staffers and services to address a large number of people casting ballots at voting centers.

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