King County, WA, 13 Days of Vote Counting, Seattle Special Election, 2007

Seattle Special Election Headlines, 2007
Above is a Screen Capture of King County’s own Election News Website, as of April 7th, 2007

It includes 10 days of headlines that nicely illustrate one of the many problems voting through the United States Postal Service… in Washington State the Ballot only need be postmarked by election day. Therefore the election can drag on for many days after the official election day. In fact, in King County, on March 26th, 2007, the County’s Election News Website reports that an additional 221 votes were added to the County’s total a full 13 days after the election.

The other headlines read of a 2 week rollercoaster of changing vote totals:

March 14: Second day of ballot counting

March 15: Third day of ballot counting, 45 percent of Seattle ballots returned

March 16: More than 14,000 ballots added to vote totals

March 19: Nearly 3,000 more mail ballots added to vote totals

March 20: Mail ballots still trickling in one week after election day; 395 mail ballots added to vote totals

March 21: Two hundred mail ballots added to vote totals

March 23: Four hundred mail ballots added to vote totals

March 26: Results posted early today; 221 mail ballots added to vote totals

And then…. my favorite part is the last headline in the list:

March 28: Seattle’s first all-mail election a success

Hurray for Seattle… it took 2 weeks to have your votes counted!

That’s interesting, Sam Reed thinks that Vote-By Mail will make tallying election results faster:

On election night, vote by mail counties will be able to produce results promptly. Poll site counties must wait for poll sites to report in, some of which require long drives to the tabulation center. All mail counties will have already processed all the vote by mail ballots received before Election Day. At 8:00pm on election night, mail counties will be able to hit the tabulation button to receive results. Overall, mail counties will be reporting quicker than those counties waiting on poll sites.

Sam Reed’sNews Release November 03, 2006

Perhaps he doesn’t include King County in that assumption, as he does say the word, “Overall”.