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King County Elections to employ unarmed security for ballot drop boxes

A ballot drop box near Gas Works Park in Seattle. (MyNorthwest photo)

With ballots starting to go out in Washington, King County officials want to put security concerns to rest.

King County starts mailing out ballots: When you can expect yours

King County Executive Dow Constantine said this week that unarmed, plainclothes security will be protecting ballot drop boxes, as part of a larger effort to prevent voter intimidation. Additionally, officials emphasized the safety of the drop boxes themselves.

King County Elections ballot drop boxes are reportedly made of half-inch-thick steel, and are bolted to concrete, “with multiple locking mechanisms, no pry points, and equipped with tamper evident seals.”

When ballots are picked up, it’s by a pair of trained King County Elections staff members, “with a comprehensive set of security procedures.” Drop boxes are emptied daily.

According to the county, over 96% of residents live inside of three miles from a drop box location. In total, King County boasts 73 ballot drop boxes, up from the 10 it had in 2016. You can find the drop box closest to you here.

King County began sending ballots out on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and should arrive in mailboxes by no later than Oct. 19. If you don’t receive your ballot by then, you can call King County Elections at (206) 296-8683.

MyNorthwest 2020 Voters Guide

This comes amid claims from President Trump that mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud. Washington Sec. of State Wyman has frequently addressed those concerns.

“The biggest one (concern) is really misinformation and disinformation. I’ve done elections for a long time — this is my seventh presidential election — and I have never seen this level of vitriol. I have never experienced having someone in the White House be critical of administrative processes like the post office or election. So it’s really trying to get information to voters that’s accurate, really driving them to trusted sources like KIRO Radio, like the secretary of state’s office, like your county auditor election office page,” she told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show Wednesday.

Several other states are also providing a vote-by-mail option in 2020 as a means to mitigate the risk of voting in person during the ongoing pandemic.

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