12-03-2016  5:53 am      •     

Ballots have now officially been mailed to all registered King County voters – but elections officials need more volunteers in the polling places for absentee voters who may miss their chance to mail their ballots back in.
Many of the jobs include a stipend for training and Election Day service.
With the election less than one month away, King County Elections is still looking for 700 individuals to fill nearly 4,000 poll worker positions. 
"King County hasn't yet made the transition to all-mail voting and poll workers are still needed to help ensure that poll voters can cast their vote on Election Day," said King County Elections Director Sherril Huff, in a statement. "This will be one of the final opportunities to work at the polls and I urge anyone interested to get involved today."
 Huff said the office has stepped up recruitment and training efforts in hopes of having a back-up work force to ensure that all available positions are filled. 
In addition to recruiting individual poll workers, the county has kicked off a program called Partnership in Democracy, which is aimed at recruiting groups with an interest in promoting team building, civic pride and as an opportunity to fundraise or earn community service hours.
Bilingual poll workers are needed throughout King County to provide language assistance to Chinese voters with limited English proficiency. 
Poll workers are responsible for opening and closing the polls and issuing ballots to voters. Workers receive a three-hour, paid training prior to Election Day, and the position requires attentiveness and a commitment to helping people navigate the election process. 
Poll workers in King County receive $125 for their service on Election Day, which begins at 6 a.m. and ends once the poll closing procedures are completed, around 9 p.m.
More than 660,000 ballots featuring candidates and several important local measures were mailed last week to absentee voters for Washington's first Top 2 primary.  Ballots were mailed to voters serving in the military, living overseas and out of state on July 18 to allow extra transit time for delivery.
New this primary, King County Elections is piloting seven, 24-hour ballot drop boxes throughout the county.  Six of these boxes are located at King County Library locations in Bellevue, Black Diamond, Des Moines, Fall City, Lake Forest Park, and Algona-Pacific.  The seventh box is located in downtown Seattle at the King County Administration Building. 
All drop boxes will be open 24 hours each day, closing at 8 p.m. on Aug. 19, Election Day.  King County Elections is located at 919 SW Grady Way in Renton and is accessible on Metro bus route 140. 
For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections/voting/ballotdropboxes.aspx.
This year's primary differs from past primaries. The Top 2 Primary allows voters to choose among all candidates running for each office. Voters do not have to declare a party affiliation to vote. After all ballots are counted, the two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary qualify for the General Election. Candidates must also receive at least 1 percent of the votes cast in that race to advance to the General Election.
Voters signed up to receive a mail ballot should receive their ballot at their registered mailing address by Friday, Aug. 8. For more information on voting by mail or to receive your ballot by mail, call 206-296-VOTE (8683) or visit www.kingcounty.gov/vote.   
The King County Elections website was recently redesigned with a focus on better serving voters. It's now easier to create a personalized voter's pamphlet, confirm your registration information and find out the answers to your frequently asked elections questions.
To accommodate last minute, in-person voter registrations, King County Elections will have Saturday office hours on Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  King County Elections will also be open on Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to assist voters. 
 In-person accessible voting is available for all voters through Aug. 18 at King County Elections' Renton office weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  On Tuesday, Aug. 19 Election Day, in-person accessible voting is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
 View sample ballots and other information online at www.kingcounty.gov/elections/elections/200808.aspx
Individuals interested in serving as a poll worker, either as a group or as an individual, should call the Poll Worker Coordination Office at 206-296-1606.  For more information on working for King County Elections or information on the ballot measures and candidates, please visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections/.

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