Grant County voters didn’t get correct envelopes
(UPDATE, posted Oct. 27, 2018)
After election officials in Grant County and Asotin County made the public aware of a vendor error on Monday, Oct. 22, they began collaborating with the Office of the Secretary of State to find a solution to the issue.
Tacoma-based mail service vendor Immedia had mistakenly provided voters in those counties with General Election ballot-return envelopes that require postage, according to a press release from the Secretary of State. This year’s Primary Election and General Election are the first in which voters in every Washington county can return their ballots by mail without needing to affix a stamp on the ballot-return envelope.
The Secretary of State’s office stated Oct. 25 that Immedia had printed and mailed postage-paid return envelopes to every voter in both counties, along with a letter of explanation to each voter.
The Secretary of State’s office stated that the letter includes several recommended steps voters can take to ensure ballots are delivered in time to be counted, such as:
– If you have not yet submitted your ballot, use the replacement postage-paid envelope when it arrives.
– If you have already mailed a ballot with postage affixed, your ballot will be delivered.
– If you have already mailed a ballot without postage, post offices in both counties have indicated they will deliver those envelopes as well.
– If you have already submitted your ballot via drop box, you are not affected by this.
– Visit MyVote.wa.gov to log in and check the status of your ballot. If you have concerns about any aspect of this process, contact your county auditor.
Similar messages are being posted prominently online on the Secretary of State’s elections home page, as well as the Grant and Asotin County elections offices’ home pages, in English and Spanish.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman was quick to remind voters that if they plan on returning ballots after Friday, Nov. 2, officials recommend using the ballot drop boxes located around each county.
“Ballots will be accepted at drop boxes until 8 p.m. on election night, or through the mail with a postmark no later than November 6,” Wyman said in a press release, “but the bottom line is to try not to wait until the last minute. Return your ballot as early as possible.”
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(This article was posted on Oct. 24, 2018)
The vendor that prepares General Election ballot materials for Grant County mistakenly included ballot-return envelopes that require postage, according to County Auditor Michele Jaderlund.
This is the first year voters statewide can return their ballots without needing to affix a stamp on the ballot-return envelope.
The Auditor’s office on Oct. 22 encouraged voters who wish to cast ballots immediately to use one of the county’s ballot drop boxes. Those who wish to mail their ballots early may use the return envelopes provided with the ballots but should affix a stamp to avoid any potential problems with postal processing of unstamped ballot envelopes.
Jaderlund said Monday that her office is working with the Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia to find a solution that ensures voters in Grant County are treated the same as voters in Washington’s other 38 counties. Post offices in Grant County have been made aware of the issue and have indicated they will treat unstamped ballot-return envelopes the same as business-reply mail, which doesn’t require postage.
All ballots returned by mail should be sent in official envelopes, which are printed with the County Elections Office address, P.O. 37, Ephrata WA 98823.
Ballot drop boxes are available at:
Grant County Courthouse, public parking, Lot A
Grant County PUD, 555 Grand Coulee Ave., Grand Coulee
Moses Lake City Hall, 321 S. Balsam St., Moses Lake
Fire District 10 Fire Hall, 588 Camelia St., Royal City
Quincy Public Library, 208 Central Ave. S, Quincy
Washington’s Secretary of State office also stated on Oct. 22 that voters in Grant County were not the only ones to receive incorrect envelopes. Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office said a vendor had mistakenly provided voters in Asotin County also ballot-return envelopes that require postage.
By Post-Register Staff