Ballot drop-off locations
Ballot drop-off locations are closed.
To improve voter access and convenience, we are expanding the number of ballot drop boxes. Check back on June 15 for a list of dates when the ballot drop boxes will be open for the August 2016 primary election.
Frequently asked questions
You can read about our plan in:
For the most part, yes. The King County Council has approved these locations. That said, King County Elections is still working with property owners to sign final agreements and pinpoint the exact location of the drop box on the property.
The timeline for final locations will be dependent on how quickly the Department can execute agreements with property owners.
19 new drop box locations will be available for the August 2016 Primary Election with 14 new drop box locations in place for the November 2016 General Election.
A total of 33 drop boxes will be installed at new drop box sites and 7 drop boxes will replace and extend the useful life of 3 existing drop boxes at current drop box locations. 24 of the drop boxes will be installed at public libraries and 3 are focused on providing access for geographically isolated communities on Vashon Island, SE King County and East King County.
The legislation and funding passed by the Council was based on expanding the number of ballot drop boxes to forty. In the course of evaluating locations, King County Elections sought to put together an approach that both (1) provided a fair geographic distribution of sites across the county to ensure that every resident has reasonable access to a ballot drop-off location, and (2) provided a higher level of service to those areas of the county with lower participation rates and a history of being underserved.
Ultimately, Elections believes that 43 boxes is the best way to meet both of these goals.
King County Election’s staff assessed over 100 locations, including all Seattle and King County public libraries, in putting together the proposed plan. Criteria for evaluation included alignment with department and county goals, operational effectiveness, general accessibility, and continuity of service.
The legislation the King County Council passed in December of 2015 required that the plan include an analysis of the feasibility and desirability of using public library locations. Further, libraries are already known as community centers with a shared mission of public service and civic engagement.
As noted above, in putting together the proposal Elections sought to balance both the need for a fair geographic distribution of boxes, as well as a focus on communities that have historically been underserved. Not every community can have a box and we had to make some difficult decisions. With this proposal 91.5% of King County residents live within 3 miles of a ballot drop box. What’s more, we are always exploring new ways to make it easier to vote!
Mobile vans will no longer be a regular service provided by King County Elections. Permanent drop boxes provide greater continuity and access because they are open for 18 days during an election, 24-hours per day. That said, mobile vans may potentially be used in the future to meet a specific need in a particular election.
Although King County is entirely vote by mail it is a priority of the Elections Department to increase access and convenience for voters across King County. It is not always convenient for everyone to use the mail or have a stamp available. Other voters are not able to mail their ballot in time to meet the election day post mark deadline and need until 8 p.m. to turn in their ballot.