UPDATE: This post was originally published in September but with the amount of interest in the box on Election Day, we’ve added new information and bumped it to the top of our Election 2016 coverage.
Donald Trump is surely quaking in his loafers — you won’t need a stamp to vote this November after King County Elections installed one of its new drop boxes on Broadway outside Seattle Central. County ballot drop box use went up significantly in the August primary, with 36% of all ballots returned at drop-off areas. In 2011, Washington shifted to all-mail elections but the percentage of eligible voters participating in the 2014 midterm election fell below 40%. According to the county, the ballot drop boxes are especially important for last-minute voters. Now if KCE can help out with the various inconsistencies, disenfranchisement, and hanging chads we’ll see in the rest of the country come November.
In the meantime, Monday night brings the first Trump vs. Hillary Clinton presidential debate on TV while the Washington gubernatorial debate follows right here on Capitol Hill at Seattle University. Our roster of seven debate watch parties plus more information on the Inslee-Bryant tilt are here.
UPDATE 11/8/2016 9:38 AM: With reports of a box overflowing with popularity, King County Elections officials say all is working well with the new ballot drop boxes including the newly installed blue and white metal container on Broadway.
That's a tote of votes pic.twitter.com/lnqUAIIYSw
— jseattle (@jseattle) November 7, 2016
Early on Election Day, the box was one of a handful in the city reported full and unusable but a King County Elections spokesperson said their driver teams were able to quickly pick up ballots and put the box back into action.
Starting at 9:30 AM, crews of election workers took up their posts at the 43 drop boxes across Seattle and the county to assist voters and take your ballot by hand if you want to drop off without waiting for the box or even if you want curbside service along Broadway. Look for the workers with the orange safety vests. If you aren’t comfortable with the handoff, you’re welcome to drop it in the box directly.
The elections rep tells us King County will also have sheriff deputies at each location through Election Day to help ensure a safe voting environment.
As for the expected crush around 8 PM, make sure you’re in line. The drop box crew will be on hand to take your ballot, organize the crowd, and determine an end to the voting on Broadway. “If you are in line at 8 PM, you are in good shape,” the county representative tells CHS. “Get there, get in line.”