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Friday, October 26, 2012

How Many Stamps Does It REALLY Take to Mail in My General Election Ballot?

Posted by on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 7:48 AM

As the handy chart in Eli's post illustrates, it only takes one stamp to mail in your November ballot in every county this year except for Franklin and Kitsap. But as my democratic experiment from the August primary illustrates, it likely takes no stamp for your ballot to arrive intact.

Elections departments don't advertise this, but the USPS is instructed to deliver un- and under-stamped ballots, postage due. (Anecdotally, I've heard that the USPS sometimes fucks up and returns unstamped ballots, so if you're going to try this for the sake of trying this, vote early.)

So for those of you who complain that your vote isn't worth the price of the stamp, don't use one. Just vote, goddammit.


Comments (18) RSS

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NotSean 1
As a bipartisan, reach-across-the-aisle endeavor, I am accepting my republican neighbors' ballots, affixing the necessary postage, and placing them in the mail.... eventually.
Posted by NotSean on October 26, 2012 at 8:03 AM · Report this
Drop Box
Posted by Seattle14 on October 26, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Womyn2me 4
We used left over stamps from mailing out wedding invites. seemed appropriate.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\ on October 26, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 5
The goofy thing about The Stranger's ginned-up Stampocolypse faux-troversey is that it would cost you three or four times as much to take the bus to a polling place than to mail a ballot. Even at the ruinous rate of $0.65.

Also, compare US postage to the rest of the world, and then shut up about this. It's silly and wrong.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on October 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
So why does it cost $0.65 in Franklin and Kitsap counties?
Posted by WildwoodGuy on October 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Or you could not be a cheapskate and just pay for the stamp. Government revenue is already too low, as most readers of this blog would agree, so why go around abusing loopholes instead of just paying your fair share? Even if it's legal, it's kind of lame.
Posted by B^2 on October 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Or you could have gone to the Stranger Voting Party and put your ballon in the box, helpfully guarded by Foot Locker refs. No stamp needed. Of course the cost of drinks, gas to get there and tips could have been spent on stamps to vote for the rest of your life, but that is a trivial matter. Voting in a bar while partying was more than worth it.
Posted by SeattleKim on October 26, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Goldy 9
@8 FYI, I checked King County Elections' ballot tracker, and the ballot I deposited with the Bus at the Stranger's voting party has safely arrived at elections.
Posted by Goldy on October 26, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 10

I wonder how many idiots will imitate your pointless stunt. Enough to elect McKenna? Genius.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on October 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
@6 - In Kitsap, the voting equipment requires ballots with heavier cardstock. That and the long list of measures/candidates pushed it over the line. Usually it is just one stamp.

Dropped mine off at the ballot box at the fire station on Saturday and saw it received on Monday.
Posted by wd on October 26, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Cascadian 12
I won't put a stamp on my ballot on general principle. Voting is a right of citizenship that should cost nothing and be subject to no poll tax. I also don't trust my ballot to be delivered correctly without postage. So I drive to a ballot drop box every year, probably spending about as much in gas costs as a stamp would cost me.
Posted by Cascadian on October 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
@12 - yea, because the gas, oil, and wear-and-tear on your car is nothing, but a stamp is an excessive poll tax. Right.

Goldy - just bear in mind, King County Elections is funded through the general fund. It's been years since there have not been cuts to the general fund. Everything Elections does has come under scrutiny. For a time, there were practically no drop boxes. There was a proposal from Sherill Huff to not allow changes in the general election voters pamphlet, and just go with text used for the primary (the Council nixed that idea). People are not hired in Elections. So sure, go ahead, and don't splurge on that stamp, and advocate for others to do the same. But it'll come back and bite you in the end.
Posted by TJ on October 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Support your United States Postal Service (the best, most efficient, and most affordable delivery service in the world) ... use stamps on your mailed ballot.
Posted by N in Seattle on October 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Goldy 15
@13 I'm not advocating not using postage. I'm just making it clear that want of a stamp is not an excuse not to vote.
Posted by Goldy on October 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this

Long Live Snail Mail!
Use a stamp and keep the humans employed.
Posted by Fire Chief on October 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Part of the calculations of the cost-cutting benefit of eliminating traditional polling stations should have been the cost of ensuring delivery by providing certified mailing.
Posted by Phil M on October 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
trannymike 18
Here (…) is a oregon newspaper that has more details the USPS's position on not using a stamp.
Posted by trannymike on October 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Occupy Seattle 19
I feel sorry for the thousands of people who got ballots with wrong info or two ballots or no ballot at all. I just wish Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed would stop fucking around with this election to suppress votes. If only he spent less time taking funds out of Heritage Center to give to GOP and fund his Republican protege Kim Wyman... As it stands, the only things we've seen Sam Reed DO this year have resulted in massive confusion, wasting of tax-payer money, and rework. And this is the same guy who said he didn't have enough money for printed pamphlets in the primary. Pathetic.
Posted by Occupy Seattle on October 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM · Report this

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