ELECTION FOLLOWUP: New High Point dropbox a hit

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(August 1st photo of High Point dropbox, courtesy Ken @ High Point Library)

While overall voter turnout wasn’t so great, there were some positive numbers associated with this month’s primary election – including the number of voters using the new permanent ballot dropbox by the High Point Library. A King County Council committee got a briefing from KC Elections today on how the new dropboxes – this was one of 19 in the county – did; here’s the resulting news release:

…Nearly 36 percent of voters (more than 160,000 voters) cast their primary ballots via drop boxes. This is a substantial increase compared to the 2015 general election, in which 26 percent of ballots were returned via drop boxes. This year, over 100,000 primary ballots were returned to drop boxes on Election Day, 20,000 more than any previous Election Day total….

…In December 2015, the King County Council passed a motion asking King County Elections to develop a plan to improve access and convenience of ballot drop-off locations throughout King County. A primary aim of the motion was to lower barriers to voting. The Elections Division’s plan, which was approved by the Council on May 2nd, 2016, adds 33 additional ballot drop-off locations in King County for a total of 43 locations.

For the August primary election, a total of 29 ballot drop box locations were ready for voters. The remaining locations will be open in time for this fall’s general election. Once the plan is completed later this year, more than 90 percent of King County residents will live within three miles of a ballot drop box.

Among the most used new locations are the Lake City Library, University of Washington – Schmitz Hall, and High Point Library drop boxes, all located in areas that scored highest in the evaluation for key equity demographic characteristics. Scores were based on an Equity and Social Justice metric that considered a combination of diversity, household income, and English proficiency. Strong return rates at these locations signal progress for King County’s ongoing efforts to lower barriers to voting and strengthen the ability for all citizens to exercise the right to vote.

We followed up to get the West Seattle-specific numbers: 5,548 ballots were turned in via the High Point drop box for this year’s primary. King County Elections spokesperson Nancy Standifer tells WSB more than 4,300 of them were dropped off on Election Day (August 2nd). While it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison given that ballot vans only were sent over for a few days and limited hours each election, we asked for those numbers: August of 2015, 1,725 ballots at the West Seattle Stadium dropoff van; August of 2016 (two days) at the HP Library dropbox, 4,912 ballots.

9 Replies to "ELECTION FOLLOWUP: New High Point dropbox a hit"

  • Nord Bjornson August 23, 2016 (6:44 pm)

    It’s a poor spot for the ballet drop box.  No parking spots, congested, and narrow streets.

    • Jon Wright August 23, 2016 (7:18 pm)

      It’s next to the biggest parking lot in High Point. The primary objective of that box is to provide access to relatively disenfranchised folks, not easy drive-thru service. I suspect it works pretty well for the High Point residents. Where do you think it should be?

  • dsa August 23, 2016 (7:13 pm)

    It is a poor spot for the reasons cited above.  Numbers increased in part to duration.

  • Sheila August 23, 2016 (7:20 pm)

    I agree …the  WS High School drop off kept things moving safely.

  • Amy August 23, 2016 (7:33 pm)

    We loved having the new HP drop

    box in the area. We walked there from our house and enjoyed seeing all the activity in the area.

  • JC August 23, 2016 (7:42 pm)

    I drove up, parked, and dropped off my ballot without any problem. Only took a minute. The location right off of 35th, with a sizeable parking lot, near bus stops, and in a relatively dense neighborhood seems like a great spot to reach a lot of people. Of course, more drop boxes would be ideal, but if there’s only one, High Point library is a heavily travelled, central location that can serve West Seattle fairly.

    • WSB August 23, 2016 (7:46 pm)

      We dropped off our ballots on Election Night, after procrastinating, and while it was very busy – we even noted a Sheriff’s Deputy in the area – didn’t take more than a couple minutes, thanks to the aforementioned parking lot.

  • Jeff August 23, 2016 (8:28 pm)

    I dropped mine off on election day, and had absolutely zero parking issues.    Couldn’t have been easier.

  • Trickycoolj August 23, 2016 (9:37 pm)

    Great location saw lots of my High Point neighbor’s walking with their ballots to the box.  For those of us in High Point that commute via Highland Park Way or even by bus, both White Center Library and the Stadium are way out of the way or require getting back in be car upon getting home by bus.  

    Loved that I got an F-15 fly by thanks to Fleet Week night at the Mariners on election night. 

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