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100,000-plus ballots cast already in viaduct vote
Seattle Times staff reporter
It's not clear whether politicians will follow the will of the people in Tuesday's viaduct election.
Still, more than 100,000 Seattle residents have already cast ballots in the advisory vote, and elections officials expect another nearly 85,000 to do so.
Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday in the city's first all-mail election. Voters are being presented with two questions: one asking whether they prefer replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a $3.4 billion tunnel, the other asking if they prefer a new $2.8 billion viaduct.
Voter information for viaduct election
If you would rather drop off your ballot:
Take it to the King County Elections Office, 500 Fourth Ave., Suite 553, Seattle; open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. If you're going today, enter through the King County Courthouse entrance on Third Avenue. On Monday, the office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; on Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Other drop-off sites: (all open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday):
• High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave. S.W.
• Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S.
• North Seattle Community College, 9600 College Way N.
• Interbay Evangelical Covenant Church, 3233 15th Ave. W.
If you have not received a ballot and you are registered to vote in Seattle, you can get a ballot in person until 8 p.m. Tuesday at the King County Elections Office, 500 Fourth Ave., Suite 553, Seattle. Election workers recommend you call 206-296-VOTE first to check whether you are eligible to vote in this election. You can also check whether you are eligible to vote: https://www.metrokc.gov/elections/pollingplace/voterlookup.aspx
More than 341,000 ballots have been issued in the election, which officials estimate will cost $1 million.
The 102,099 ballots returned to the King County elections office by Thursday represent 30 percent of Seattle voters, and election officials predict 55 percent of voters will end up participating. The estimate is based on the 49 percent Seattle turnout in the 1997 election on building the Seahawks stadium.
Election officials expect the largest batch of ballots to come in Tuesday or Wednesday.
The all-mail election is serving as a test for the county's plan to switch to all-mail elections in 2008. Each ballot included extra instructions.
So far, people who usually vote at the polls are participating at slightly lower levels than voters accustomed to voting absentee.
Jim Buck, interim director of King County elections, is not surprised by the lower number of ballots from poll voters. "We're likely to see more [ballots from poll voters] come in closer to Election Day," he said.
Staff researcher Justin Mayo contributed to this report.
Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or email@example.com
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