King County ballots may be coming with pre-paid postage in the future, so voters don’t have to visit a drop-box to vote for free. Photo by Ray Still

King County ballots may be coming with pre-paid postage in the future, so voters don’t have to visit a drop-box to vote for free. Photo by Ray Still

King County elections seeking pre-paid postage on future ballots | King County

The department believes removing another barrier to voting encourages more residents to exercise their rights.

  • Thursday, March 29, 2018 10:15am
  • News

King County Elections Director Julie Wise is requesting funding from the County Council to provide all voters in King County with ballots with prepaid postage based on a successful prepaid postage that increased voter participation.

King County Executive Dow Constantine submitted on March 28 a supplemental budget request to the County Council that would provide voters with prepaid ballots starting this year and would make it part of ongoing operations costs.

“When I was elected, one of my commitments was to remove barriers to voting,” said Director Wise. “As we increase access with prepaid postage and ballot drop boxes, we’re beginning to see a real impact.”

If approved by the County Council, registered voters would receive ballots with prepaid postage this year, starting with the August primary election.

“At a time when American democracy is threatened by our own federal government, we are taking action in King County to ensure that all people have a voice,” said Executive Constantine. “Providing ballots with prepaid postage will remove a small but significant barrier to the democratic process in our region.”

By removing an additional barrier to voting, the proposal encourages more residents of King County to exercise their constitutional right. Simplifying the process with prepaid postage also will allow for a higher ballot return rate and encourage diverse communities to become further involved in the elections process.

“Director Wise is leading the charge to make King County the national leader in low-barrier voting, all while ensuring our election system is accurate and secure,” said King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “Prepaid postage is another important step in this effort. Combined with an increased number of ballot boxes, election materials in multiple languages, and our voter education fund, King County citizens can more easily and effectively exercise their right to vote.”

The overall request to the County Council is for $381,000 to provide prepaid postage for 2018, although the expected impact to the county’s General Fund budget will only be $191,000 because cities and special districts will contribute the additional cost. This estimate is reliant on voter turnout and method as voters may use either a drop box or return ballots by mail. The county will only incur a charge for prepaid postage when a voter specifically returns a ballot by mail.

This is the latest action taken by King County Elections to encourage more voter participation. In 2016, King County quadrupled the number of ballot drop boxes across the county and increased voter outreach in communities where English is not the primary language.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Flaming Geyser is one of the several state parks in proximity to the Plateau that you can visit for free on Jan. 1 and 18. Photo courtesy Washington State Parks
Free Park Days in 2021 start in January

The first free days are Jan. 1 and 18.

After a relatively quiet October, Enumclaw's November COVID cases are quickly rising. Screenshot courtesy King County
COVID cases on the rise

Enumclaw has topped more than 250 positive cases, many of them just from November alone.

In addition to traveling through Enumclaw and Buckley, Santa will also be at the Enumclaw Expo Center's Hometown Holiday Parade Dec. 4 - 6, in place of being a part of the normal Enumclaw holiday parade. File photo
Santa to visit Buckley, Enumclaw neighborhoods

Make sure you know when Old Saint Nick is traveling through your area Dec. 7 - 12.

Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org
Buckley budget includes money for streets, recreation projects

Residents can look forward to work being done on River Avenue and a new athletic court.

Enumclaw's decision making tree
ESD students will not return until January

Many teachers and parents saw flaws in the plan for students to return to school after Thanksgiving, just to have them go on winter holiday a few weeks later.

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

The Courier-Herald is moving to a paid-subscription model. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Nov. 25 is the last free edition of the Courier-Herald

When you subscribe to a newspaper, you’re not just receiving a product, but investing in an idea.

One of the highlights of Holiday Fantasy has been outright donations to a worthy cause. Here, attendees show their support during the 2018 event. This year, the event will be holding a virtual auction over four days. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Holiday Fantasy goes virtual, offers four days of silent auction

The annual Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation fundraiser helps fund nearly a third of the non-profits various programs, from feeding seniors to arranging transport to medical appointments.

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

Most Read