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Spin Control

Posts tagged: mail-in ballots

Sunday Spin: A stamp for a ballot is NOT like the poll tax

OLYMPIA – A wise old pol once told me changing the election system is difficult for two reasons. The people who must agree to make the change all got their jobs through the current system; and having won at least one election, they all consider themselves experts in how the system should work.

That may explain why legislators each year consider a myriad of election changes, but rarely approve any of substance. Last week found various committees in the midst of such discussions, considering whether counties should be required to put out more drop boxes, move up the deadline for ballots to arrive in the mail, or change the way the state divvies up its Electoral College votes. Too early to tell how most will fare, but all face a bumpy road.

One change being discussed would require the state or counties to pay the postage to return the ballots mailed out to Washington’s 3 million-plus voters. One can make a good cost-to-benefit argument about such an expense compared to the convenience to voters.

Or one could make a very bad argument…  

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

WA Lege Day 16: Possible changes to elections

OLYMPIA – Legislators have a wide array of changes they think would make the state’s elections run smoother.

At hearings Tuesday, they suggested paying for the postage for voters to return their mail-in ballots, requiring most ballots be in the hands of county elections officials by 8 p.m. election night may be the prime beneficiaries of the state’s current election laws, requiring counties to have more drop-boxes and publishing a voter guide for primary elections. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

No lie: They’re in the mail

General election ballots for Spokane County began hitting the post office today.

County elections is mailing a total of 265,768 ballots to registered voters. They started today and will finish on Thursday. That means if you don't get a ballot by next Friday, Oct. 28, something might be amiss and you want to call the county elections office, at 477-2320, to find out what's going on while there's still time to get a replacement in the mail.

It is still possible to register to vote for the Nov. 8 general election, although you'll have to go to your county elections office to sign up in person.

After they are marked, sealed and signed, ballots can be returned by mail as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 8, or deposited in a drop box at locations set up in each county.

The locations of Spokane drop boxes can be found inside the blog.

When mailing your ballot? Remember the stamp

Hundreds of thousands of ballots in Washington state are going to be mailed in the next four days.

Here are a few reminders:

Sign the outer envelope. If you live in a home with more than one voter, be sure you are signing your envelope, because the signature has to match the name on the envelope.

Put a 44-cent stamp on the envelope. And before you start complaining about this as an unfair cost of democracy, please note that in Idaho, mailing in a ballot cost 61 cents…there’s was bigger.

Get it postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday. That suggests that you should not just toss it in a pickup box at 7:59 p.m. If you’re waiting until Tuesday, take it to a post office, go inside and have them postmark it. Ofr save yourself 44 cents and take it to a drop-off box that your county elections office has set up in strategic spots around your county. In Spokane County, they’re in all public libraries. Several “Voter Service Centers” will also be open on Election Day. We’ll have a list on Tuesday for those who have waited that long.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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