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For most of us, voting could not be easier. Every registered voter with their address of record up-to-date gets a ballot in the mail. Return postage is pre-paid. There are also plenty of ballot drop boxes open. Ones close to light rail stations include the Beacon Hill Library, Uwajimaya, the King County Administration Building, and the northeast corner of the Edison Building at Seattle Central College,
The King County Elections Department recommends that you mail your ballot by Friday, October 30, in order to make sure it gets postmarked by election day, the following Tuesday. After that, it is recommended that you use one of the many drop boxes that are available 24/7 now through 8 pm on November 3.
You can also vote online.
You can register to vote online, or by snail mail, up until October 26.
Update: In-person voting registration is available through Election Day at the accessible voting sites, but the County urges everyone to use the voting centers only if they have to. Wearing a face covering over the nose and mouth will be required.
If you want to vote behind a curtain of privacy, King County has accessible voting machines set up at its election headquarters, available 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday – Friday until the weekend before the election. The HQ is a long three blocks from the nearest F Line stop at Lind Ave SW and SW Grady Way.
Then, several more accessible voting sites will be available on Halloween (Saturday October 31, 10 am – 4 pm), Monday November 2, 8:30 am – 6 pm, and Election day, 8:30 am – 8 pm.
In some past years, voting machines have been set up in the great hall of Sound Transit’s headquarters, sandwiched between International District / Chinatown Station and King Street Station, with long lines to vote there as the 8 pm deadline approached. That was the gold standard of voting accessibility. Then the downtown voting site moved to the King County Administration Building, the silver standard of accessibility.
This year, an accessible voting site will be available at the spacious Century Link Field Event Center, at the southwest corner of the campus, on Occidental Ave S and S Royal Brougham Way, a mere several football field’s walk west of Stadium Station. The map linked on KC Election’s website is a little confusing. Just go to the WaMu Theater, not where the red flag is. Otherwise, you’ll be on the wrong side of the building. In past years, KC Elections has provided its own simpler maps, not reliant on the TMI of a private mapping company, to voting sites.
Since a downtownish voting site will have been set up at the southwest corner of the Clink, there will be no walk-in voting site downtown.
The only other accessible voting site in Seattle will be at the Dempsey Indoor Center (named after Neal, not Clint, in case you were wondering), two large buildings east of Alaska Airlines Arena and just northeast of Husky Stadium, a decent walk from UW Station.
Per Kendall Hodson at King County Elections:
We’ve got seven vote centers for this election and the two in Seattle are at the CenturyLink Field Event Center and the Dempsey Practice Field at UW, both of which are next to light rail stations. Transit is always a key consideration for us in siting both drop boxes and vote centers but with the pandemic, our primary criteria for this election was identifying vote center locations where we’d have adequate space to get good social distancing, which is why you primarily see them in event center-type spaces (e.g. Federal Way Performing Arts Center and ShoWare Center).
Bellevue’s accessible voting site has been moved from Bellevue City Hall to Bellevue College’s gymnasium.
Kent’s accessible voting site will be at the ShoWare Center, a few blocks northwest of Kent Station. Routes 150 and 161 stop close to the arena.
Federal Way’s otherwise-mothballed Performing Arts Center will become an accessible voting site for those three days. It is a couple blocks northwest of Federal Way Transit Center.
Kenmore City Hall will be the most traditional host location for an accessible voting site. It is a mere three blocks’ walk north of the ST Express 522 stops closest to 68th Ave NE.
While the question of who will win Washington’s presidential electors will not be in doubt (hopefully for the last time), there is plenty down-ballot to vote on, including continuation of some funding for the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (really, entirely about transit).
This article first appeared on seattletransitblog.com
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