Mail theft leaves piles of ballots on the ground

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Stolen mail discarded on roadside
Photographer unknown
There was a rash of mail thefts in the Echo Lake neighborhood, near Meridian. It happened to be the day that the ballots were delivered. As they were of no interest to thieves, they were dumped at various places along the road.

Most were picked up by neighbors and some reached their proper destinations. Another neighbor reported that they received double ballots - their own and that of the previous resident at that address. They put in a postal box and marked it "not at this address."

In yet another situation, some people got two ballots in their own name.

Halei Watkins, Communications Officer at King County Elections says,

We have mailed out all the ballots at this point but if someone has not received theirs, there are a couple of easy things they can do to get a new one. 
Give our office a call at 206-296-VOTE (8683) and we will issue them a replacement ballot. They can also access their ballot online, print at home, and return to us in the mail or drop box as usual. The link to that portal is here.
Folks can recycle any ballots that they can’t get to the intended voter. And the person that received a ballot for the previous occupant did just the right thing! If someone receives a ballot that their address for someone who doesn’t live there, they should write “return to sender” and pop it back in the mail. That signals to us that the voter has moved and we need to get in touch with them for an address update.
We have also heard from some voters that they’ve gotten two ballots to their name and that’s ok too - totally normal to have some duplicates go out, especially if someone has visited the DOL or made an update to their voter registration recently. They should only vote and return one but if they accidentally return two, we will only count one of them.

King County is very confident of its ability to verify ballots at the processing center. Here's a 2018 article about some of their methods and why our elections are secure.



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