VOTING: Big day for West Seattle Junction ballot drop box (updates, including a bizarre incident)

(Reader photo, via text)

1:33 PM: We went over for a look at the West Seattle Junction ballot drop box (SW Alaska between 44th and California) just before 1 pm after a text that it was full. While we were there, more voters showed up, and said you could still get a ballot in – carefully – but since our visit, a line has developed, as shown above. Meantime, we heard back from King County Elections via Twitter that they have pickup teams out right now and one was due to arrive in The Junction at any minute, so this drop box should be cleared out soon. Remember we have three – High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond) and South Seattle College (6000 16th SW) – plus there are also boxes outside South Park and White Center Libraries. KC Elections says each of the half-ton boxes should hold 5,000 ballots, so fullness might mean “the ballots stacked up a little funky and that makes it hard to get more in there. But we are expecting to break records this weekend.”

1:36 PM: Just got another text – the pickup team has arrived. Reader photo added – thanks to everyone for the tips and photos!

P.S. Also via Twitter, KC Elections subsequently showed what an empty drop box looks like inside:

The explanation: “Bin to collect ballots, flooring to protect against water buildup or flooding, and the little ramp that we use to get the bin in and out placed so the bin stays put against the side with the slot.”

6:44 PM: Bizarre incident this evening – as noted in comments, and by someone who called us, there was an attempt to get some kind of poo into the Junction box. KC Elections doesn’t seem to answer after-hours (we’re asking them about a hotline), so the person who called has reported it to police.

Meantime, we should mention that you can check your ballot’s status online – once KC Elections receives it, it’ll show up on the ballot tracker (give it a few days after mailing or putting it in a drop box).

8:47 PM: KC Elections reports by Twitter that “ballots are fine, box is good to go. Still watch your step as the team didn’t have materials with them to clean up the sidewalk – also, it’s a good night to thank an election worker!”

53 Replies to "VOTING: Big day for West Seattle Junction ballot drop box (updates, including a bizarre incident)"

  • Ant October 17, 2020 (1:59 pm)

    Thank you for the heads up. Change in action! 

  • kumalavula October 17, 2020 (2:00 pm)

    thanks to all the west seattleites who are voting early! so affirming to see how many people are participating in this election and participating early!

  • Pete October 17, 2020 (2:06 pm)

    We dropped our ballots at the High Point library box about 1 pm. There was a steady stream of folks walking up in front of us and behind us. 

  • Teresa October 17, 2020 (2:20 pm)

    Just dropped mine off at High Point and I could still see it through the slot; hope they’re swinging by for a pickup there too!

  • Sarah October 17, 2020 (2:20 pm)

    Was just at the HP box and it’s getting full.

    • Carole October 17, 2020 (5:16 pm)

      They were picking up at HP about 2:30 just after I dropped mine off.

  • Just wondering October 17, 2020 (2:39 pm)

    This is what is called “a happy problem” !

  • D Del Rio October 17, 2020 (3:11 pm)

    I wish we as Americans voted like this every election. Remember during the last council elections something like 20 to 30% of registered voters bothered to even vote. Don’t quote me on the actual numbers. 

    • WSB October 17, 2020 (3:25 pm)

      No, that’s not true.
      54 percent of registered voters in D-1 voted, for example. All the turnout numbers are on the final results.
      https://aqua.kingcounty.gov/elections/2019/nov-general/results.pdf
      D-6, which also re-elected an incumbent, was highest in the city, 59 percent.

      • Chemist October 17, 2020 (4:31 pm)

        Dan Strauss wasn’t an incumbent.  D1, D3, and D5 were incumbents though.  The point that highest return in d6 looks right though.

        • WSB October 17, 2020 (5:05 pm)

          My error. Juarez is D5, not D6.

      • D Del Rio October 18, 2020 (7:52 pm)

        Thanks for the right numbers; I must be thinking of a different election. Still, a little more than half is still disappointing. I would love to see 80 to 90%! Don’t disappoint me Seattle voters!

        • WSB October 18, 2020 (8:08 pm)

          I am sure I’ve told the story before but I was 12 years old when I discovered my mom, then 34, didn’t vote, and I told her, just register, I’ll do the research and tell you who to vote for … I had been paying attention to politics for several years by then. It warmed my heart this afternoon to see our home-from-college son sitting on the couch with his ballot and the voter’s pamphlets making his decisions on everything down to the judgeships and semi-obscure state/local measures. We took him along to the polling place so many times when he was little. Anyway, hope King County Elections’ 90-percent challenge comes true. – TR

  • Joseph October 17, 2020 (3:41 pm)

    My ballot checked for President Trump, future Governor Culp, and a straight red ticket is in that High Point box. Excited to be part of the CHANGE we need in Washington State.

    • Jeff October 17, 2020 (6:08 pm)

      Trump may indeed still win, but I don’t see any way a yokel like Culp wins a statewide office when Rob McKenna (who was super qualified!!!) could not. 

    • K.Davis October 17, 2020 (6:16 pm)

      Uh huh.  

    • sc October 17, 2020 (8:24 pm)

      “Stupid is as stupid does”.   Forest Gump

  • Trileigh October 17, 2020 (3:43 pm)

    Yay West Seattle! Vote vote vote!

  • JasonG October 17, 2020 (4:02 pm)

    The mid-day pickup is good news. Put my ballot in the Junction box at 930am and could see it didn’t drop very far. Full o’ votes! 

  • Bonnie October 17, 2020 (4:11 pm)

    I dropped my ballot off at South Seattle College. Easy drive up and no lines at all.

  • Plf October 17, 2020 (6:16 pm)

    Really is gratifying to see with18 days out local and across the nation folks are voting 

  • West Seattle Dude October 17, 2020 (6:34 pm)

    FYI I just tried dropping off ballot in Junction, but the slot was defaced with feces.  Low tech voter suppression!  Some kind folks were informing would be victims, before putting our hands in the slot!

    • WSB October 17, 2020 (6:43 pm)

      Yes, we got a call about that; haven’t yet heard back from KC Elections about an after-hours hotline but the person who called us has since reported it to police.

      • Allie October 17, 2020 (7:03 pm)

        That’s awful. I thought I read that they were going to have unarmed security at all 73 drop boxes. I was there yesterday in the junction to drop my ballot off and didn’t see anyone. I wonder if they have cameras watching the drop box?  Maybe they can catch the person who did this?

        • WSB October 17, 2020 (7:07 pm)

          Not 24/7.

  • Beth October 17, 2020 (8:19 pm)

    Everyone who is registered…

    • WSB October 17, 2020 (8:43 pm)

      And even if you’re not, you can register up until Election Day! Online/by mail the deadline is coming up October 26th.
      Side note to anyone who like us has a college student back at home because of the pandemic – be sure they check to see if they’re properly registered – if they’re registered in the state where they’re not living right now, they may need to either be sure they’re able to get an absentee ballot or change their address back to here, at least for now. (Ours did that in time for his ballot to arrive with ours yesterday.) – TR

  • Karla E Johnson October 17, 2020 (8:23 pm)

    So, we dropped our ballots off about 3PM, did they get smeared with feces? Do our votes count? This is terrible. 😟 funny how this stuff didn’t happen before Trump started screeching about it and suddenly the GOP in California is busted for fake ballot boxes and the list goes on. Truly deplorable 

    • WSB October 17, 2020 (8:38 pm)

      I don’t know if any ballots were affected but will be following up. Please note that it’s a good idea to use the ballot tracker (which I’ve linked above) no matter how you return your ballot, drop box or postal mail, to verify that it’s been received – there’s usually a few days’ lag but if for some reason a ballot doesn’t get through, you’ll know & will be able to get a replacement ballot – TR

      • WSB October 17, 2020 (8:47 pm)

        UPDATE: KCE did answer by Twitter and says “ballots are fine, box is good to go.” I will update above.

    • Mel October 17, 2020 (11:18 pm)

      I find it so funny that people want to blame everything on Trump. Yeah, people never did dumb things like this before he was in office…and for the record, I’m not a Trump supporter and never have been.

      • Mellow Kitty October 18, 2020 (4:51 pm)

        @Mel, forgive me if I missed it, and please direct my attention to the blame being placed on Trump for the vandalism of the ballot box. I didn’t see any indication of that in the tread at the time I’m posting this. 

      • shotinthefoot October 19, 2020 (9:10 am)

        @Mel – they didn’t, though. I don’t recall ever hearing anyone messing with ballot boxes, or insinuating that mail in voting was unsafe in any way before that monster decided to have his supporters rise to the occasion. In the words of their “dear leader” this is wholly “Unpresidented” 

  • aa October 17, 2020 (9:51 pm)

    My plan is to put a first class stamp on my ballot and take it inside the post office.  For the record, I am finding  this year to be exhausting!

    • Glenda October 17, 2020 (10:48 pm)

      You don’t need a stamp anymore! And yes, so exhausting.

      • aa October 18, 2020 (12:18 pm)

        I don’t know Glenda, she may be correct.  I don’t know what she knows compared to anyone else.  That is why I am going to do what I think is my best assurance of prompt delivery of my ballot by sticking to my plan with the first class stamp.  That way I don’t have to keep looking to the news to see what the status is of ballot boxes, fake ballot boxes, poo on boxes, 3rd class delivery vs. 1st class delivery.Put my stamp on it and let go of the rest.  That is what I am going to do.

        • Glenda October 18, 2020 (4:08 pm)

          If you look at the return envelope it says right on there you don’t need a stamp anymore. We voted on that and passed it. That’s what I’m going off of.  But if you want to use one I can’t stop you, I was just trying to help!

        • Glenda October 18, 2020 (4:11 pm)

          If you look on the return envelope it says right on there you don’t need a stamp to send it by mail.  That’s what I’m basing this on. I obviously can’t stop you from doing it your way, I was just trying to save you a stamp.

  • J October 17, 2020 (10:53 pm)

    Saw the guy who left the poo package. Followed him south down the alley and snapped his photo. Not sure what to do with it. Is it a crime to put poo in a ballot box?

    • alki_2008 October 19, 2020 (8:59 pm)

      Thank you for doing that. Please do send the photo somewhere, maybe the police or maybe to KC Elections. Hope someone with better insight, WSB(?), can provide more effective direction.  I just think it’s important that people understand their actions have consequences and it’s not just ‘funny’ to do things like this. Was it an adult?

    • Joel Egan October 21, 2020 (5:54 pm)

      That’s great that you got his photo of the vandal. Tell the cops. That’s got to be an infraction against County Property. It might be a federal or even a state violation. It might be a health code thing. It seems wrong on a lot of levels. It’s kind of disturbing. Please tell WSB what happened when you complained. Thanks

  • Mrs. A October 18, 2020 (12:03 am)

    Tampering with a ballot box may be a felony.  Send the picture and information to the King County Prosecutor and King County Elections.

    RCW 29A.84.550

    https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=29a.84&full=true#29A.84.550

  • Jeannie October 18, 2020 (1:38 am)

    I was at High Point. People were happy and excited to deposit their ballots. It was so refreshing, after all the terrible news and lies we’re hearing. It was especially heartening to see the little kids. Mom and/or Dad was showing them how democracy works (or should work if there’s no interference). This is likely the most important election in our lives. And it’s so easy here in WA, there’s no excuse.

  • odds and sods October 18, 2020 (6:57 am)

    Poop in the ballot box… is there a metaphor in this

    • alki_2008 October 19, 2020 (9:00 pm)

      Maybe an offering to the Pence Fly?

  • James October 18, 2020 (9:02 am)

    We easily placed our ballots inside of the post office on California Ave. No stamp required. Not sure why everyone is needing to use the drop boxes, unless it is the fear that Trump has instilled that the post office will delay the ballots, thus a lack of trust in the post office.  Either way, congratulations on exercising your right to vote.

    • trickycoolj October 19, 2020 (5:14 pm)

      Because I can walk to the ballot box a few blocks away and both post offices require driving or other wheels.  Lower barrier to entry.

  • DAFFY October 18, 2020 (11:55 am)

    If you wish to ensure mailing something date-sensitive — such as a ballot — is properly postmarked and have time to get to a post office during business hours … you can ask a clerk to “hand cancel” it for you.

    https://about.usps.com/handbooks/po408/ch1_003.htm?fbclid=IwAR2LqcniI-s0j8HDeMtxNaiQih0FyOb8Izw-lZItFs9KzCGC-bHk0AJfUAw

    Note that I’ve read on some sources that apparently not all pre-paid business reply mail — such as is used for Washington State ballots — is always machine postmarked.

  • randy October 18, 2020 (6:37 pm)

    “An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.” I looked this up and used this book principle on how to vote.

  • Conjuntion Junction October 18, 2020 (7:03 pm)

    Update: the scatological voter says he thought that was the way to vote for Orange Jesus. 

  • shotinthefoot October 19, 2020 (10:18 am)

    I dropped off my ballot at the South Park Library ballot box yesterday afternoon. There were other folks out there but not a huge line, and I could still get my ballot in the box. 

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