Primary voting begins Friday, and all 39 Washington counties will provide free ballot return postage

Voters in every county can return ballots via the U.S. Postal Service without paying for a stamp.

  • Friday, July 20, 2018 1:30am
  • News

Registered voters throughout Washington will soon be receiving ballots for the Aug. 7 Primary Election. Thanks to Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Governor Jay Inslee, and county officials statewide, voters in every county can return their ballots via the U.S. Postal Service without having to pay for a stamp.

“Statewide voter participation is a huge priority,” Secretary Wyman said in a press release, “and all Washingtonians deserve the best possible opportunity for their voices to be heard. By extending the convenience of postage-free ballot return envelopes to every voter in the state, we are leading the nation in providing access to democracy.”

Ferry County Auditor Dianna Galvan said that she had successfully overcome initial budget concerns to join the rest of the state in providing prepaid postage on ballot return envelopes for all Ferry County voters.

“I believe that government must be a good steward of taxpayer money. The cost of using business reply mail through the post office would have been more than the grant money coming from the state, so initially it didn’t make sense for us to proceed with the prepaid ballot return postage,” Galvan said in a press release. “However, we just became aware that simply purchasing first-class stamps for every voter in the county was also an option, and that cost is significantly less than business reply mail. The grant funding from the Secretary of State’s Office will be enough to cover that cost, so I’m very pleased we’re able to participate after all.”

This spring, Wyman and Inslee announced an historic agreement to fund statewide ballot return postage for the 2018 Primary and General Elections via grants totaling $1.2 million for county auditors in 38 counties. Because the King County Metropolitan Council had previously agreed to fund postage for voters there, Wyman additionally called for the Legislature to reimburse the approximate $600,000 cost King County will incur.

Wyman added that she will also ask the Legislature in 2019 to make postage-paid ballot returns permanent.

More in News

The Council recognized the AFIS program as it celebrates 30 years of assisting law enforcement throughout King County. Councilmembers, AFIS staff and King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht join AFIS regional manager, Carol Gillespie. Photo courtesy of King County.
King County Council recognizes county’s Automated Fingerprint Information System

For three decades, AFIS has helped law enforcement solve thousands of cases.

‘This might have been a once in a generation opportunity’: Kenmore’s Lakepointe deal grinds to a halt

City officials unsure of what comes next for the more than 50 acre industrial site.

King County Flood Control District approves 2019 Budget on Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of King County Flood Control District.
King County Flood Control District approves $93 million budget

The 2019 District Budget will maintain current flood protection services.

Student veterans receive new resource center at UW Bothell

The Veterans Resource Center at UW Bothell was created after student veterans indicated they wanted a space designated for themselves.

Bothell voters approve public safety ballot measures

As of election night on Nov. 6, both the levy and bond were passing.

Democrats lead in 46th Legislative District

Voters are sending David Frockt, Gerry Pollet and Javier Valdez back to Olympia.

Democrats lead in 1st Legislative District

Derek Stanford and Shelley Kloba were successful in their re-election bids.

DelBene leads in 1st Congressional District in early returns

As of election night, incumbent Suzan DelBene was leading with 69 percent of the vote, to Jeffrey Beeler’s 31 percent.

UW Bothell Student Veterans Services held an Open House and Coffee event during this year’s Welcome Week and remains the main arm in helping veterans. The new resource center adds to this support. Photo courtesy of Marc Studer, UW Bothell
UW Bothell opens new veterans resource center on campus

The new Veteran Resource Center is designed to connect veterans and build relationships.

In Kenmore, the SMP applies to Lake Washington, Sammamish River, and Swamp Creek and associated wetlands. Bothell’s SMP, which was last updated in 2013, also governs development next to the Sammamish River (pictured) and Swamp Creek, along with North Creek. Photo courtesy of Mark Hussein
Bothell, Kenmore look to protect shorelines

Shoreline master programs protect and restore valuable aquatic resources for future generations.

Ashe joins Bothell as new economic development manager

She will work cooperatively with both long-time and future business owners in the city.

Said Farzad reportedly called in numerous bomb threats to state agency offices in Olympia. No bombs have been found, but the state agencies are increasing police presence and bomb-sniffing dogs. Reporter File Photo
Suspended psychiatrist suspected of making bomb threats

The suspect was previously convicted of telephone harassment of a Bothell insurance company and has reportedly called in numerous threats from various countries. No bombs have been found.