Wash. election office: Postal cuts pose no problem

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The office of the Washington Secretary of State says consolidation plans by the U.S. Postal Service are unlikely to hamper Washington elections.

In Washington, ballots must be postmarked, rather than received, by election day. Spokesman Shane Hamlin says that because of that requirement, the postal cuts are unlikely to affect voting or vote tabulations.

But the office is still encouraging voters in the future to drop their ballots in the mail by the Monday before a Tuesday election or to drop them in a county box.

The Postal Service is closing processing and distribution centers in Everett, Olympia and Tacoma and transferring processing operations in Yakima, Wenatchee and Pasco to Spokane. As a result, most mail in Washington is likely to bear only postmarks from Seattle or Spokane.