Election 2013: Do you know for sure your ballot was counted?

If you haven’t taken the quick and easy online step of checking to see whether your ballot from last week’s election was received and validated, you might consider doing it now. checkbox.jpgYou’ve probably heard that one City Council contest has narrowed dramatically since the original Election Night count – Position 2 incumbent Richard Conlin and challenger Kshama Sawant are now 1,237 votes apart, – and the ballot-counting isn’t over yet, so it could come down to a handful of votes.

Both campaigns have suggested that while we await the next round of ballot totals tomorrow, you check to make sure your ballot has been counted. It can get lost on its way to Elections HQ; one West Seattleite tells us his was dropped into a box at the Junction post office on Election Day – but came back marked “return to sender.” He contacted King County Elections and received an e-mail reply explaining that he needed to bring it in ASAP; the reply included, “We have heard of this happening to other voters …” Other things that can go awry include the possibility your signature wasn’t validated (happened to us a couple elections ago). Don’t wait to see if yours turns up back on your doorstep. Just go here – it’s really quick.

19 Replies to "Election 2013: Do you know for sure your ballot was counted?"

  • Diane November 11, 2013 (2:09 pm)

    can anyone clarify if this ballot tracker system actually ever says “your ballot has been counted”?
    I turned my ballot in at WS Stadium drop-box a week ago today; ever since Wed, I see the same message, “We have received your ballot, your signature has been verified, and your ballot will be counted. Thank you for voting.”
    is that as far as it goes? or will it ever tell me that my vote was counted? has anyone seen a message for themselves, “your ballot has been counted”?

  • add November 11, 2013 (2:27 pm)

    Pretty cool feature. I just tracked mine and got this:
    “Your returned ballot packet was received by King County Elections.

    We received your returned ballot packet and will prepare it for processing.

    Check back to confirm that your signature has been verified.”
    So apparently it was received but not yet processed (I mailed it on election day from California).

  • JanS November 11, 2013 (2:28 pm)

    I wondered the same thing. I mailed mine in within days of receiving it, and when I check, it says the same thing that Diane gets.

  • Sue November 11, 2013 (2:42 pm)

    Diane, I’ve never seen it say anything past the signature verification, at least in the last few years I’ve been using the tracker.

  • Azimuth November 11, 2013 (2:52 pm)

    I think they only excluded yes on I-522 votes. Otherwise you’re good to go.

  • Gatewooder November 11, 2013 (3:32 pm)

    The reason the system doesn’t go past signature verification is that the ballot goes into an anonymous bin of ballots after that, just like the old polling stations had. If your ballot is incorrectly marked or spoiled beyond the signature verification there is no record that links it to an individual. It has to be that way or our ballots would not be secret.

  • lura ercolano November 11, 2013 (4:56 pm)

    Excellent point, Gatewooder.

  • DarkHawke November 11, 2013 (5:04 pm)

    Imagine how much of this nonsense could be avoided if we just went back to the old polls. Y’know, you go down to the local library or school with your friends, family and/or neighbors, you show some VALID I.D. so that we’re sure an actual live citizen is voting, and there’s no rigmarole about votes getting lost in the mail or not being verified. I miss those days, when I was reasonably sure that elections reflected the actual vote of the public.

  • Ex-westwood Resident November 11, 2013 (5:49 pm)

    Only in Seattle could an avowed Socialist, Kshama Sawant, be elected to the city council.
    But what am I saying, at least she has the courage to admit she’s a socialist, unlike the rest of them.

  • M. November 11, 2013 (6:41 pm)

    DarkHawke…I agree.
    I really miss walking to the polling station, meeting others in the community, happily showing a valid ID, and the fact it’s free. For those unable to go to or find a ballot drop box, one is required to PAY to vote. I don’t like that, seems very wrong…

  • LivesinWS November 11, 2013 (9:44 pm)

    I only wish we had real socialists. Then we’d all have health care, living-wage jobs, and dignified retirement coverage. Oh, but we’d have fewer hedge fund banksters and CEOs making millions in retirement while stealing pensions from employees.

  • Charlie November 11, 2013 (10:23 pm)

    I do not miss going to the polls. Voting by mail gives me more time to actually research what the heck I’m voting on. Drop boxes are provided for those unable or unwilling to pay for postage. As for those “unable to go or find” a drop box, I fear that their ability to go to or find a polling station would be equally hindered. I would happily donate to a fund for those unable to afford the 46 cents. What? You thought running polling stations was free?

  • Trileigh November 12, 2013 (7:41 am)

    I was surprised, when I went through the ballot-checking process (first time for me) that my ballot is only at the stage of:
    “Your returned ballot packet was received by King County Elections. We received your returned ballot packet and will prepare it for processing. Check back to confirm that your signature has been verified.”
    I mailed it from WS several days before the election, maybe 10 days ago. Shouldn’t it have been counted much earlier? Is this normal?

  • sam-c November 12, 2013 (8:20 am)

    Trileigh- it does seem like they are taking their time. I have the same message for my ballot, so it seems my sig. has not been verified, nor my vote counted yet. I dropped mine off at the drop box on election day. my husband’s ballot, which was dropped off at the same time, HAS been counted though. I find that funny, cause his signature is much more wild and illegible than mine. I always try to make mine the same every time but oh well.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident November 12, 2013 (10:18 am)

    Hey “LivesinWS”
    If you REALLY want to live that way there are countries that are JUST like that. I suggest you go live there as the US and it’s freedoms are in conflict with your wanted lifestyle.

  • Fiwa Jcbbb November 12, 2013 (12:37 pm)

    I too miss going to West Seattle High School to vote and mingle with my neighbors,and would remind you that the reason we went to this clusterf*** mail-in system is because Dino Rossi couldn’t win an election.

    What I’m sick to death of are Neo-Feudalists, Wealth-worshipers, and Social Darwinists masquerading as “conservatives”, without the courage to admit it, or indeed even lying outright about it as in the case of Mitt Romney in the last Presidential election cycle. You know, “Ex-Westwood Resident”, if you REALLY want to live in a place with no ebil gubmint getting in the way of what the “Have and Have Mores” want, there are countries JUST like that…they’re mostly called Somalia. Sure your kind have purchased the mainstream media outright all the while shouting “liberal media” to anyone who will listen, and claim some weird sort of moral superiority (the book of Revelations labels people who claim to be “Of Christ” but do the opposite of what he would as “Antichrist”), but you should try actually reading the constitution you people love to blather on about all the time. There is nothing in it that guarantees the freedom to take advantage of others, mandates capitalism as the official economic system of the U.S.,or excludes the wealthy from giving back to the country that allowed them to become so, but it does mandate in it’s “mission statement”, then called a “preamble” that the government promote the general welfare, which it is surely not doing now, thanks to an ill-gotten and heavily gerrymandered “majority”. What it also does is charge congreff with making all laws neseffary and proper to achieve that end. I think you’d be much happier in Somalia, as living in the U.S. with it’s constitution as it is conflicts with your wanted lifestyle.

  • Lura Ercolano November 12, 2013 (2:15 pm)

    Hey, Ex-Westwood – Doesn’t it occur to you that those US freedoms include political freedoms? Freedom to have a political view, or to support a candidate?

  • sam-c November 13, 2013 (9:09 am)

    just checked again, and apparently there is something wrong with my signature….. maybe the king county elections people need new glasses. I don’t know why this happens. I too miss the old days: when my neighbor would WATCH ME sign my name, she’d ask us about our son, and I’d vote. plain and simple. ugh……..

  • Lura Ercolano November 13, 2013 (11:43 am)

    I’ve had to re-submit my signature a few times. What’s the big deal? It’s easy.
    I like voting by mail. I like to thoughtfully consider each issue at the time I am filling in my ballot. I like how I can make my voting time a festive family activity. If I want to vote with neighbors, I can invite my neighbors over to vote together.
    I like that our schools’ hallways aren’t filled with strangers. I like that the school parking lot isn’t filled with people who are in a hurry to get in and out.
    I like that nobody has to miss work in order to vote.

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