Gov. Jay Inslee is considering a request from the state’s top election official to spend $2 million to cover prepaid postage on mail-in ballots for this year’s elections. Secretary of State Kim Wyman made the emergency request in response to a similar measure before the Metropolitan King County Council. On Monday the county council decided to delay a vote by a week on a request sponsored by Councilmember Dave Upthegrove to spend $381,000 for prepaid postage for the Aug. 7 primary and the November general election. The request originated with King County Elections Director Julie Wise.
Wyman on Monday told the council she supported prepaid postage but warned of potential voter inequality if the county moved on its own without the state’s 38 other counties.
Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Inslee, said emergency funds are limited, but that the governor’s office is examining what could be done to cover the cost if King County approves prepaid ballot postage. Inslee and his staff will work with the Office of Financial Management to reach a decision, which would need to happen soon because many counties are getting ready to print envelopes for the August primary.