The Clark County Elections Office on Wednesday said the U.S. Postal Service has returned 13 previously uncounted ballots to its office. The ballots were from the Nov. 7 general election and had been filled out and returned by voters. According to a press release, the ballots were discovered in out-of-service mailboxes within the county.
The same thing happened in King and Pierce counties, where 124 voted ballots were discovered in defunct mailboxes after the election deadline. Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs last week sent a formal letter to USPS asking what steps the agency will take to remove these mailboxes.
Twelve of the returned Clark County ballots were signed and dated on or before Election Day. These ballots will be processed and counted in the November general election results. One ballot did not have the date it was signed and cannot be counted.
The additional ballots will not affect the outcome of any races or measures in this election, according to the Clark County Elections office.
“The USPS is a critical partner in conducting vote-by-mail elections. We understand the USPS is taking steps to ensure that they will promptly remove all mail deposited in mailboxes, including out-of-service mailboxes,” County Auditor Greg Kimsey said in the press release. “We are confident USPS will implement practices to ensure ballots deposited in USPS mailboxes will be delivered to the elections office timely for future elections.”
To confirm a ballot has been received and counted by the elections office, voters can go to VoteWA.gov. Voters can also sign up for text message notifications at the same site. The text messaging service will notify a voter when their ballot is mailed, received, accepted or challenged by the elections office. To enroll, select the “update my name or address” option.
Voters can also obtain information about their ballot status by contacting the elections office at 564-397-2345 or email email@example.com.