Election 2012: Ballot dropoff van’s debut day in West Seattle

West Seattle hasn’t had a ballot-dropoff box since 2009, but the county is trying something new this election season by bringing a ballot-dropoff van here. We first mentioned the plan a month ago, and today was the first of four days you can use it to vote without a postage stamp. Richard, Kaleigh, and Ted staffed the van near the entrance to the West Seattle Stadium parking lot starting at 10 am today; they’re there till 5 pm, then the van’s back 10-5 tomorrow, 10-5 Monday, and 7 am-8 pm on Tuesday (which is Election Day, and therefore your deadline to get the ballot to a dropoff spot or a mailbox).

6 Replies to "Election 2012: Ballot dropoff van's debut day in West Seattle"

  • CandrewB August 3, 2012 (6:56 pm)

    Can someone knowledgeable answer me this? If you drop a ballot in the mail without a stamp, the Post Office will deliver it anyways? I have heard that and am willing to risk a primary ballot on it but not a general. Cuz otherwise it would seem to constitute a poll tax…

    • WSB August 3, 2012 (7:20 pm)

      I had never heard that. Tried every form of googling to look for something authoritative and can’t find it from King County – yet. Found this, which you might have seen:
      I wouldn’t risk it, personally. This may be a primary but there are a couple measures that will be settled (primary is almost a misnomer in the initiative age).
      I will send the question to the King Co. Elections media person on the chance she might monitor e-mail over the weekend … since it’s pre-election weekend … TR

  • West Seattle since 1979 August 3, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    FWIW, I once accidentally sent my ballot out without a stamp, and it came back. I think this was in about 1999-I don’t know if the laws have changed since then or not.

  • metrognome August 3, 2012 (11:17 pm)

    under state law (RCW 29A.40.29A and 110), the postmark is crucial in determining that the ballot was mailed on time. I believe it is the Post Office that returns unstamped ballots, not the Elections Office.

  • Michael August 4, 2012 (1:26 pm)

    @Metrognome – Doesn’t that law than contradict the drop boxes which don’t have the postage mark on them or is it written somewhere that Drop Boxes are exempt? Just wondering…… I’m surprised that not having polling places, that it would save them money to have the Postage Paid envelopes.

  • Shannon August 4, 2012 (2:31 pm)

    Requiring postage to return a mail ballot is not a poll tax. A poll tax was a tactic used by some Boards of Election to attempt to selectively disenfranchise certain minority groups. Since the postage requirement applies to everyone and is nominal in nature, the courts have not considered it a poll tax.

    Of course, I can’t cite the exact court case, but it’s out there. There was a case in Montana or Colorado dealing with this issue.

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