Last week, Auditor Julie Anderson presented a report to the Council on the recent primary election. There are approximately 500,000 registered voters in Pierce County. As of August 10, there was an estimated voter turnout of 33-34 percent turnout in Pierce County, compared to a State turnout of 38-39 percent. Our turnout needs to be better!
Fascinating to me is how people have chosen to submit their ballots.
This is the first year that pre-paid postage was provided for ballot returns. The funds to cover the postage came from the State and roughly 60 percent of voters took advantage of using the postal service to submit their ballot. I believe the voters will hope and expect this one-time special appropriation to continue with future elections.
Over 72 percent of voters chose to use drop boxes on election day. There are 43 drop boxes throughout the County. Due to the popularity of drop boxes, the County will be installing more in the next few years.
The Auditor told us that she sees her role as breaking down barriers and increasing access to voting. As Auditor, she sends out the voters’ pamphlet and ballots in a timely manner to give us an opportunity to study the candidates, issues and vote. A strong advocate of drop boxes, she has worked to get the authority to site boxes where they would best serve the voters. Ensuring that voting becomes easier for the voter.
Now, it is up to us to take advantage of these improved voting paths and return those ballots. The November election is just around the corner.