Washington ballots to be mailed First Class at no expense to voters

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman issued an emergency rule Wednesday, requiring ballot packets to be sent to voters as first-class mail.

Ballots must be sent to voters before October 16, and ordinarily it is sent via a ‘nonprofit bulk rate.’ The Office of the Secretary of State says that now, any new ballot packets sent out—including replacement ballots or ballots for newly-registered voters—would be mailed First Class, ensuring a delivery window of two to five days.

“Closer to Election Day, many counties throughout Washington already switch over to First Class mail to ensure voters receive materials with enough time to cast their ballots,” said Wyman. “This will provide more consistency statewide, and give voters some peace of mind heading into the Nov. 3 General Election.”

According to the Office, return envelopes included with ballots will now have a prepaid First Class postage stamp. Voters are encouraged to mail their ballots a week before Election Day.

“As election officials, we are charged with preserving the integrity of elections in counties throughout the state. One of the ways in which we do this is to ensure voters will be able to cast their ballots safely, securely, and in a timely manner,” said Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton. “First Class postage gives us resources to make sure we provide as much time as possible for voters to cast their ballot.”