Secretary of State Kim Wyman said she will ask Gov. Jay Inslee for emergency funding to help the state’s counties pay for postage for voters in this year’s primary and general election if King County moves forward with a similar plan. However, Wyman urged the King County Metropolitan Council on Monday not to fund prepaid postage for mail-in ballots this election cycle, becoming the first of the state’s 39 counties to do so. She told the council she supports the idea but believes for reasons of equity it should happen statewide, all at the same time.
“The reason for this is that we treat every voter in this state fairly and equally,” Wyman said. “And we do that not to create confusion among voters on how they can participate.”
The council postponed a vote on the $381,000 request for a week, at the suggestion of councilman Reagan Dunn.
Wyman told The Seattle Times it would cost the state about $1.8 million to reimburse counties statewide if King County were to implement its program for the 2018 election cycle, forcing the state to act. She said counties would be required to come up with the money themselves, and then the state would reimburse them.