Oh boy, it's crunch time. The 2019 election is tomorrow. Mail-in ballots need to be postmarked by Tuesday (and to be double clear: they need the date Nov. 5 or earlier on that postmark!)—but if you're planning to mail your ballot on Tuesday, King County Elections recommends that you physically take it to a post office to get it postmarked on time. Or, you can drop your ballot at your local ballot drop-box by Tuesday evening. Ballot boxes and the five in-person polling places close at 8 p.m. So what are you waiting for?
If the answer to that question is something like "I didn't get a ballot" or "I forgot to register," don't worry, you can still be engaged and have a say in this election.
No Ballot? No Problem!
A certain Stranger writer who WILL NOT be named couldn't find his general election ballot on Friday. Then, he found it under his desk but realized it was his ballot from this August's primary election (he had mistakenly gotten two—don't worry he still voted in that election). "You can still vote!" a different Stranger writer shouted.
It's true! If you're registered to vote but either lost your ballot or never received your ballot (like some 1,000 people caught up in an elections glitch right now), all you've got to do is print out a new one, fill it out, and turn that in.
Or, you can vote in person at one of the five in-person voting centers in King County.
Not Registered? No Worries!
Speaking of those in-person voting centers, you can also register to vote there. The election is tomorrow so if you haven't registered yet you've already missed the 8-day cut-off for changes to vote-by-mail registration. Fear not, though, because this year is the first year that Washingtonians can register on election day.
You can only do that IRL (in real life) at these places:
All you'll need is a number from your Washington State driver's license, a State ID, or the last four digits of your social security number. That's it. No permanent address is necessary for same-day voter registration.
On this ballot, there are seven city council seats up for grabs. There are initiatives like the one that could (devastatingly) impact the future of transportation in the state (all kinds of transportation!). You can decide who runs the Port of Seattle, the Seattle School Board, and so much more. It's so easy to vote in Washington state—you don't even need stamps anymore!—so, vote.
Plus, if you go to a Molly Moon's on Tuesday and show them your ballot stub to prove you voted, you'll get free ice cream. Also, if you voted, and you let me know, I will personally email you a thank you note that will include a personal smiley—like this :)—somewhere in the note. You can't beat that gratitude!
Vote Early, Get Counted Early
Also, some trivia for those of you who like to influence the "media narrative," or maybe are just hard core vote-watchers who plan to be hitting refresh on the King County Elections and Washington Secretary of State tabulation pages all week:
All the ballots that King County Elections has in its possession by Monday night will definitely be counted in the initial results that come out Tuesday night at around 8 p.m.
In contrast, the majority of Tuesday's mail-in ballots and drop-boxed ballots won't be counted until Wednesday at the earliest, according to Kendall Hodson, the chief of staff at King County Elections.
"Everything we have in-hand by the end of the day Monday will be counted," Hodson told me, "Sometimes that includes some from the morning mail delivery." The majority of Tuesday's drop box pickups—around 100,000 ballots—will be received in the evening on Tuesday, Hodson said, and those won't show up in the results until Wednesday.
That means that if you're voting on Election Day itself, chances are your vote won't be reflected come Tuesday night. To put it another way: all the early voters will be dictating the first batch of results—and the early spin that comes along with those first results. So get a move on and vote!
Here's some help, if you need it. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.