The Secretary of State reports that 2.1 million ballots turned in among the state’s more than four million registered voters. But mailing or dropping off your ballot isn’t the only way to get your vote counted. Accessible voting centers are available for voters who need assistance completing their ballot. Trained staff and specialized equipment are available to help voters with disabilities cast a private, independent ballot. “We have ‘sip and puff’ adaptive equipment, we also have earphones so people can hear the ballot, instead of visually seeing the ballot, we can make the font larger,” said Julie Wise, the King County director of elections. The machines are equipped for anyone who has a vision, hearing, or dexterity impairment. But also, if you never got your ballot or lost it, you’ll be able to go to one of the polling places.
At a polling location, a voter can go to the voting center and present identification. If there’s no ID, the voter can sign a document, to have that signature matched with the one on file when the person initially registered to vote.
Verified voters then receive a card programmed with the ballot corresponding to his/her voting jurisdiction. When the voter is finished making selections, a paper receipt will show the choices made.
“You can actually see your vote being cast, and it’s just more of an official process for me,” said Terry Swanlund, who drove from Enumclaw to Renton to vote in person. “It’s an honor to vote, and I want to go in person to do so,” he said.