The USPS delivered 37 general election ballots to Pierce County Elections today that it discovered in out-of-service USPS mailboxes within the county.
All 37 ballots have signature dates on or before election day and therefore must be counted under state law. All but two of the ballots had Lakewood area addresses, including one from within Tacoma city limits. The ballots have all been signature-checked and tabulated and will appear in the next results update, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 20. These ballots will not affect the outcome of races or measures in this election.
“We have a solid working relationship with our local postal partners,” said Pierce County Auditor Linda Farmer. “While it’s normal for ballots to trickle in for days, sometimes weeks after the election, it’s unusual to see something like this. The USPS is a critical partner in the voting process and we trust that they will have the issue of out-of-service mailboxes cleared up in time for the next election.”
Pierce County voters may mail their ballots to ensure they are postmarked by election day, or they may use one of 50 Pierce County Elections ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. These boxes are owned and operated by the Pierce County Auditor’s Office and are emptied at least every 48 hours—or more often during peak periods—once the 18-day election period opens.
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Pierce County Auditor
Pierce County Elections Manager