FOR all the political huffing and puffing about a plan to make elections in King County all-mail voting, the key thing to remember is that voters chose the new system.
A vote-by-mail system is inevitable. Elected officials are catching up with the public.
28 of WA’s 39 counties voted by mail this November, and 5 others are in the process of making the change. Perhaps King County is making the switch a little sooner than we had expected, but the timing is right for a number of reasons.
The recommendations from three outside reviews of KC elections all focused on the immediate need to consolidate operations into a single elections center. But it makes absolutely no sense to design and build a new multi-million dollar elections center to handle an elections system (polling place voting) that is destined to become obsolete in a few short years.
No doubt the move to all-mail voting will be a challenge. While less than 30 percent of KC voters cast ballots at the polls last month, that still represents more ballots than cast by any means in any other single county in the state. To put this in perspective, moving us remaining, stubborn polling place voters to mail-in ballots will be like adding all of Pierce County into the system.
If the county council approves the switch (and with Bob “Swing Vote” Ferguson on board, that seems a sure thing) it must also appropriate the funds necessary to do the job right. That includes building the consolidated elections center everybody agrees is absolutely necessary. Now.