King County is sending out election ballots, adding drop-off locations

July 18, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 18, 2013

Ballots and voters’ pamphlets are arriving in King County mailboxes this week for the Aug. 6 primary elections. All ballots should be delivered by July 24.

There are now 25 locations, including Accessible Voting Centers, at which voters can return their ballots, according to Sherril Huff, King County elections director.

The locations include 10 24-hour drop boxes, one of which is located in Issaquah City Hall. Get information here about where you can drop off your vote.

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Study: Washington election system is No. 2 in United States

February 8, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 8, 2013

Washington ranked No. 2 among states for election administration performance in 2010, according to a national study.

In the Elections Performance Index unveiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts on Tuesday, Washington ranked near the top after researchers examined election administration performance across all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“It’s great news that Washington is one of the very top states when it comes to the accessibility and integrity of elections and voter registration,” Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Washington’s top elections official, said in a statement. “I appreciate the hard work put into the index and how it provides an objective set of measurements to look at how we and other states are conducting elections.”

Other top-performing states include Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

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King County matches turnout record in election

December 4, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Nov. 27 after certifying the results.

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Office solves voters’ ballot signature issues

December 4, 2012

King County Elections solved signature problems on more than 13,000 ballots.

If Jonathan Doe is registered to vote as such, but signs the ballot as John Doe, the elections office contacts the voter to resolve the signature issue.

Signatures on the ballot and in the registration information must match. Washington State Patrol-trained elections staffers contacted voters to resolve problems on signature-challenged ballots.

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King County turnout reached 84 percent in November election

November 28, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Tuesday after certifying the results.

Countywide, voters returned 993,908 ballots for about 84 percent turnout, a similar figure to the record turnout set during the 2008 presidential election, although the elections office received more ballots in 2012.

The county set records for registered voters — 1,170,638 — and for the number of ballots tallied on election night — about 556,000.

“Voters responded to our messaging this year and returned their ballots early,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We counted a record high of 556,000 ballots on election night and the number of ballots received too late to process was down 76 percent.”

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Mark Mullet elected to represent Issaquah in state Senate

November 13, 2012

Mark Mullet embraces wife Sabath at Zeeks Pizza on election night Nov. 6 moments after initial results give him a lead in the race against Brad Toft for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat. By Greg Farrar

The unexpectedly ugly race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate reached a coda in the days after the Nov. 6 election, but not before more public friction between the candidates.

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Issaquah drop box buzzes as voters return ballots, shatter records

November 13, 2012

Cathy Gulezian, of Maple Valley (left), watches sons Brady, 2, and Dylan, 4, place ballots for her and husband Ken in a ballot drop box attended by King County Elections workers Michele Phelps and Jon Gentry at Issaquah City Hall on Nov. 6. By Greg Farrar

The ballot drop box outside Issaquah City Hall transformed into a nucleus of activity as Election Day stretched into night, and voters raced to deposit ballots before the 8 p.m. deadline.

King County Elections staffers, dressed in aprons the same shade as traffic cones, directed voters to the secure box. The elections office opened the box last month and, as the ballot deadline approached and after post offices closed, more and more ballot-toting voters arrived.

“Unlike during tax season, the post office does not stay open longer hours for voting,” Lynne Miller, a King County Elections spokeswoman, said just before 7 p.m. Nov. 6.

Elections staffers used atomic clocks to determine the precise 8 p.m. deadline at ballot drop box sites countywide.

King County Elections forecast 87 percent turnout countywide — a hike from the 84 percent record set in 2008. (The county relied on a combination of mail ballots and polling sites in the last presidential election.)

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Brad Toft concedes state Senate race to Mark Mullet

November 9, 2012

NEW — 10:05 a.m. Nov. 9, 2012

Less than 24 hours after urging supporters to wait for more election results, Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft conceded a hard-fought state Senate race to Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet early Friday.

Toft could not overcome the lead Mullet, a Democrat, posted on election night, and then continued to maintain as subsequent results arrived. In the most recent results released Thursday by King County Elections, Toft trailed Mullet, 54 percent to 46 percent, out of 50,681 ballots tallied.

“There’s a disappointment in what happened, but the cause goes on,” Toft said in a message to campaign supporters Friday.

Mullet declared victory after the initial election results landed Tuesday, and then disputed Toft’s assertions about a possible turnaround in subsequent days.

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Brad Toft: State Senate race is too close to call, despite Mark Mullet’s lead

November 8, 2012

NEW — 12:10 p.m. Nov. 8, 2012

The contest for the 5th Legislative District state Senate seat is too close to call, Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft said Thursday, despite a 3,307-vote lead for Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet.

The race attracted attention in recent weeks for the insults the candidates lobbed at one another and, for a time, observers said the match-up could determine state Senate control. However, Republicans did not gain enough seats on Election Day to crack the Democrats’ majority in the chamber.

Mullet held about 54 percent — or 23,216 votes — to Toft’s 46 percent — or 19,909 votes — among more than 43,000 ballots counted in the race so far.

King County Elections is scheduled to release additional results at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

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King County delays election results due to equipment problem

November 7, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Nov. 7, 2012

King County Elections planned to release results at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, but officials delayed the report until 6:30 p.m. due to a problem with the ballot-scanning system.

Officials attributed the problem to the ballot-scanning system the record volume of ballots handled by the elections office. The equipment vendor is on site at the elections headquarters in Renton, and resolved the problem by 6 p.m., officials said in a statement.

The elections office plans to include about 50,000 ballots in the next tally.

King County is the largest county in the United States to conduct all-mail elections.

Ballots continue to arrive at the elections office. Officials received about 985,000 ballots so far — or 84 percent turnout in the general election to date.

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