Washington: With new ballot-tabulation machines, King County residents can vote with ‘pink sparkly pen’ if they’d like | Joseph O’Sullivan/The Seattle Times
After the year you’ve had, King County voter, do you need some spice in your life? Well, if you’d like, go ahead and take a step on the wild side and mark that election ballot with a pink sparkly pen. That’s right, gone are the bad old days when the muckety-mucks over at King County Elections Department printed out ballots instructing you to fill out your election ballots in blue or black ink, giving you flashbacks to some horrid and surely embarrassing grade-school test experience. That’s because the tabulation equipment acquired by the department in 2017 is more versatile, according to Kendall LeVan Hodson, chief of staff to Elections Director Julie Wise.“We’d of course still count the ballots if they didn’t use blue or black ink, it just typically required that they be duplicated, which was time consuming and costly,” LeVan Hodson wrote in an email. “The new tabulation system we put in in 2017 reads almost anything, so — after testing that out a little bit — we decided to remove that (use blue or black ink only) on the instructions.” That’s why in 2018, the instructions calling for blue or black ink were nixed, she added.