Strong turnout predicted as ballots reach voters

October 23, 2012

King County Elections mailed more than 1.16 million ballots to voters Oct. 17, as all-mail voting started in federal, state and local contests.

The election marks the first presidential contest since King County started conducting all-mail elections and since Washington transitioned to a vote-by-mail state.

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Local celebrities offer election information

October 23, 2012

King County Elections turned to a lineup of boldface names — Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, mystery writer J.A. Jance and sports announcer Kevin Calabro — to share important tips for voters as the Election Day ballot deadline approaches.

Adrian, Jance and Calabro joined a regional voter education campaign featuring radio, TV and online ads to educate residents about the voting process. See the spots at the elections office website, www.kingcounty.gov/elections/news/psa/2012.

Sponsored by elections departments from King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and the Office of the Secretary of State, the ads remind voters to sign return ballot envelopes and get ballots back on time.

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Some voters receive two ballots due to registration changes

October 23, 2012

NEW — 10:45 a.m. Oct. 23, 2012

King County Elections officials said as many as 10,000 voters could receive two ballots due to recent changes in their voter registration and voter information in the weeks before the elections office mailed ballots.

Officials said affected voters should receive a ballot that is suspended — but not in time to prevent it from being mailed — and a replacement ballot with their current information. The updates in registration and information occurred too close to the mailing date to interrupt the printing and mailing process.

The elections office mailed ballots to more than 1.16 million King County voters Oct. 17.

If a voter receives two ballots, he or she should vote the ballot in the envelope marked “replacement ballot.” The replacement is accompanied by a printed explanation and instructions.

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Local celebrities join voter education campaign

October 19, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 19, 2012

King County Elections turned to a lineup of boldface names — Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, mystery writer J.A. Jance and sports announcer Kevin Calabro — to share important tips for voters as the Election Day ballot deadline approaches.

Adrian, Jance and Calabro joined a regional voter education campaign featuring radio, TV and online ads to educate residents about the voting process.

Local elections officials started the voter education campaign before the August primary. The initial round of spots featured renowned chef Tom Douglas, travel guru Rick Steves and Seattle Storm players. The celebrities involved in the campaign agreed to donate time for the effort.

“Everyone can be a voting champion,” Adrian said in a statement. “Don’t wait til the last second. Go for the gold by following the directions and getting your ballot back early.”

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Voter turnout is forecast at 81 percent, less than 2008 record

October 18, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. Oct. 18, 2012

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed on Thursday predicted 81 percent voter turnout, a robust response to the races for president and governor, but less than the record set in 2008.

Washington is home to 3,880,859 registered voters. State elections officials said 149,202 people registered or reactivated a registration since the August primary.

The historic average turnout in a presidential and gubernatorial year since 1952 is 79.2 percent. Reed does not expect the turnout — or ballot return, in the case of all-mail voting — to match or exceed the record level 84.6 percent in 2008.

In King County, officials started mailing 1.16 million ballots to voters Wednesday. The deadline to postmark or return ballots is Nov. 6.

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King County Elections mails 1.16 million ballots to voters

October 17, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2012

King County Elections plans to mail more than 1.16 million ballots to voters Wednesday as all-mail voting starts in federal, state and local contests.

The election marks the first presidential contest since King County started conducting all-mail elections and since Washington transitioned to a vote-by-mail state.

“Voters should watch for their ballots in the mail and contact us if they haven’t received it by Monday, Oct. 22,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We anticipate a high turnout, and we encourage all voters to get their ballots voted and returned no later than the Election Day deadline — the earlier, the better.”

King County voters should also start receiving voters’ pamphlets in the mail in the coming days. Voters receive a local pamphlet from the county and a state pamphlet from the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Voters can meet congressional, legislative candidates at forum

October 16, 2012

Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., Oct. 18 at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.

The lineup includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus Democrat Karen Porterfield, a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters by Oct. 19.

Voters can join the event at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Issaquah City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way. Or, Issaquah residents can also watch the candidate forum live on the local government access channel, ICTV Channel 21.

Last voter registration deadline before Election Day approaches

October 16, 2012

The deadline to register to vote in person is Oct. 29, a little more than a week before Election Day.

Residents can register at King County Elections, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton, between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The office also operates a Voter Registration Annex, 500 Fourth Ave., Room 311, Seattle. Residents can register at the annex on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2-4:30 p.m.

More information about registration — by mail or online — is available at the King County Elections registration website, www.kingcounty.gov/elections/registration.

Meet congressional, legislative candidates at forum

October 9, 2012

Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.

The lineup for the Oct. 18 forum includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress. The forum includes candidates in contested and uncontested races.

The event is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from the moderator, Publisher Debbie Berto.

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King County Elections to open Saturday for voter registration

October 5, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 5, 2012

King County Elections is open Saturday to accommodate high volumes of voter registrations and updates to voter registration information.

The elections office, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. so voters can register and update information in person. Saturday is the deadline for mail-in registrations and updates. Monday is the deadline for online registrations and updates.

Monday is Columbus Day, but the elections office and the Voter Registration Annex, 500 Fourth Ave., Room 311, Seattle, remain open for voters.

The elections office is usually open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The annex is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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