King County voters can track their ballot for upcoming elections

Oct 20, 2022, 11:57 AM | Updated: 3:06 pm

king county elections...

Ballots are counted at King County election headquarters in Renton, WA. (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

King County Elections mailed out nearly 1.4 million ballots Wednesday for the 2022 general election.

It also improved its ballot tracking system for this vote.

Voters can track their ballots

“Our team at King County Elections is looking forward,” County Elections Director Julie Wise said. “Today we are launching ballot alerts, voters can now go onto our website to our ballot tracker and sign up to get texts and emails when their ballot hits another milestone in the process.”

While King County Elections has had a ballot tracker in place, this year’s alert system is new.

“They’ll get a message when their ballot is mailed,” Wise said. “When we receive it back here at King County Elections headquarters in Renton, their ballot is verified and ready to be counted. And they’ll get an alert if there’s any issue with their signature so they can get it fixed and make sure that their ballot counts,” she explained.

Wise joined King County Executive Dow Constantine for the announcement.

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Election security outlined

They addressed election security and stressed the importance of every voter turning out in the coming election.

“Voters in King County have the opportunity to weigh in on their representatives in Congress, their leadership in Olympia, and ballot measures in communities across the county,” Constantine said.

He also stressed just how secure the process is in King County.

“King County Elections is one of the best in the business in ensuring the security of every vote,” Constantine explained. “From the moment you deposit your ballot in the mail or an official dropbox to when it’s received, processed, and tallied on election day, you can count on this team to deliver an accurate and secure account, to be transparent, and to help make sure your voice is heard.”

‘Your vote is secure’

“I want everyone in the county to know that because of Wise and her team, your vote is secure. Our elections are secure, and our democracy will continue to thrive,” he added.

Constantine said as part of a program connecting people to jobs and housing this year, they were able to hire a team of nine that helped update over 35,000 signatures in the voter registration system.

This is meant to ensure that those communities facing some of the most challenges will have their voices heard.

“In a democracy, we should be doing everything we can to make it easier to vote, not harder. Same-day registration, online registration, and helping young people become active citizens and participate in their democracy,” Constantine said.

72% turnout expected in King County

Wise said she’s expecting a 72% voter turnout for the general election. That’s lower than the 75% turnout seen in 2018, the most comparable election.

This year’s projections are based on several factors, including the lower turnout in the 2022 primary.

“But honestly, my hope is 80%. I really want to see us hit 80%. Here in King County, I believe we can do it,” Wise said. “You know, we had an 87% turnout in our presidential election, which is some of the highest in the entire country. So King County voters, they always show up and impress me.”

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Security efforts in place

Wise also detailed various layers of security, including her highly-trained team.

“This team at elections is made up of dedicated professionals who go above and beyond to not only meet the letter of the law, but to go the extra mile for our voters because we are your neighbors, friends, and relatives. We are extensively trained, deeply experienced in running vote-by-mail elections, and setting the standard for transparency and elections.”

Those transparency efforts include the new expansion of their observer program.

Unaffiliated observers 

“In this coming election, we’ll be joined for the first time by non-partisan or unaffiliated observers through a partnership with the Seattle King County League of Women Voters. We have found that by inviting folks to see how the process works, we’re able to turn at least some of those election skeptics into our greatest advocates,” she explained.

Those who want to observe the process can also take advantage of the nearly dozen webcams set up for live streams.

“We are now up to 11 locations that are streamed 24/7 on our website throughout the entire processing period,” Wise said.

Voters can find the live streams, update their address, register to vote, and sign up for the new ballot alert system on the King County Elections website.

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King County voters can track their ballot for upcoming elections