King County is the 14th most populated county in the country and home to one third of Washington’s voters. By conducting accurate, secure and accessible elections, Elections provides an important opportunity for the people of King County to participate in their government.
King County Elections is staffed by dedicated individuals who have a strong sense of pride and commitment to the work they perform. With the move to a consolidated facility in December 2007 and completion of the phased-in transition to countywide voting by mail, King County Elections is poised to provide outstanding service to King County residents for years to come. The new facility was designed to provide the opportunity for public observation and visitors are welcome to tour the 360 degree observation loop.
King County is a well respected leader within the elections community for its programs, outreach and education, accessible voting advocacy, and technology innovations. In 2005, King County Elections became the first county in the state to offer an online guide allowing voters to verify their registration and create a customized, address-specific voters pamphlet with candidate races and measures from the convenience of their personal computer.
King County was also the first county in Washington to allow candidates to file for office via the Web. Since implementation in 2006, online candidate filing has gained popularity with more than 90 percent of candidates filing online this year. In February 2009, an online mail ballot tracker was launched, allowing voters to track their ballot’s progress online, verifying its location at three different points.
In 2006, King County launched Washington’s largest and most comprehensive outreach and education for the roll-out of accessible voting equipment, using bus ads and videos to compliment community demonstrations and tutorials. King County established a disability advisory committee to generate feedback and response about the new voting equipment and how to best reach their community. As a result, input from a community advisory committee is now Washington State law and a requirement of every county.
In August 2006, the National Association for County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks awarded King County Elections the “Best Practice Award” for mail ballot processing, specifically the significant efforts to improve ballot count accuracy and implement nationally recognized quality control standards. King County Elections began working toward these Six Sigma goals in 2005 to benchmark against inventory discrepancies between the number of mail ballots received and the number of mail ballots tabulated.
In accordance with Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act, King County produces all election materials in both English and Chinese. In addition to providing translated materials, King County employs a full-time Chinese translation staff as well as accessible voting center staff. This federal law requires counties to provide language assistance if more than 5 percent of voting age citizens in a jurisdiction are members of a single-language minority group who do not “speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process.”