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RENTON, Wash. — Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, King County Elections opened six in-person voting centers Saturday to help people get their ballots in.
“Folks can come see us to get registered to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assisted device if they need a little extra help,” said Haley Watkins, communications officer for King County Elections.
Election workers helped Mohamad Elchami navigate voting for the first time, after recently becoming a citizen.
“Ever since I got my citizenship the first thing I want to do is vote. I’m doing my duty as an American. You could say that there is some pride but I’m doing my duty so there’s a mix of both,” said Elchami.
Election officials want every voice heard, and have specialized machines to help voters that have low vision or blindness.
“You can use large or ultra large font, you can adjust the contrast for whatever is easiest to read,” said Watkins,
There is also an audio ballot people can listen to or a keypad navigator with braille.
Election officials said so far, voter turnout is a little slow.
“We are sitting at about 18% to 19% as of today. We’ve projected 45% turnout for this election so if we’re going to get there we’re going to have a very busy Monday and Tuesday it looks like,” said Watkins.
A recent poll shows 71% of people trust the system when it comes to confidence in Washington’s all-mail voting system. Of those who responded, 43% have a high amount of trust while 16% have little trust and 12% have no trust
The poll was commissioned by KING 5, The Seattle Times, University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communication and was conducted by SurveyUSA.
Election leaders believe these in-person voting centers can help boost voter confidence.
“Anytime we can see each other in person helps you remember that it’s your friends, neighbors, and community who are running our elections,” said Watkins.
In-person voting centers will also be open Monday, Aug. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Election Day, Aug. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. These voting Centers are located in Bellevue, Federal Way, Kenmore, Kent, Renton, and Seattle.
People can still register to vote, but must do so in person at a voting center.
Voters must have their ballot postmarked by Tuesday or dropped off at one of the county’s 76 drop box locations by 8 p.m. All drop boxes will be staffed.
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