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New ballot drop boxes for late voters
Kitsap County voters have a few new places to drop their ballots for the Aug. 7 primary.
The county added a few more 24-hour ballot drop boxes and the option of mobile stations brought directly to area voters and recent changes in legislature that allows military and overseas voters to submit their ballots electronically.
Shawn Devine, Communications Coordinator for the Kitsap County Auditor’s office, said the additions are among efforts by the county to make casting ballots during the mail-only elections more easy for voters.
The 24-hour ballot drops are available in Bainbridge Island, East and West Bremerton, Silverdale, Port Orchard and Poulsbo. Devine said drop boxes will take ballots until voting ends at 8 p.m. Aug. 7.
“This is the first year we have had all six locations available,” Devine said.
Accessible voting locations are also available to voters and are located in Port Orchard and Poulsbo with the Port Orchard location available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 6 and both locations available 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 7.
Devine said the auditor’s office is also offering mobile voting booths to seniors and others who might have issues making it to voting locations.
The auditor’s office has visited senior living centers such as Claremont Senior Living and Willows Retirement community in Bremerton.
“It is just another way we try to help voters,” Devine said.
Another means of helping voters is the ability to view and mark ballots online. Although online ballots are not new to the county, Devine said the auditor’s office views them as another means of helping voters.
“Visually impaired voters can really find it helpful,” he said. “They are able to use software like Jaws and mark it independently and print it at home and then mail it where they might have trouble with paper ballots.”
Devine said a big change in voting involving the community is new legislation that allows military and other overseas voters the ability to submit their ballots electronically without mailing a signature.
More than 15,000 active duty sailors and Marines live in Kitsap County with several thousand expected to be deployed to the Middle East.
Military and overseas voters register early online and continue to receive email ballots for future elections.
Devine said the process for viewing, marking and submitting ballots online is designed to be easy and help can be found online or by contacting the auditor’s office.
More information on voting methods and locations can be found online at http://www.kitsapgov.com/aud/elections.htm or by contacting the auditor’s office at 360-337-7128.