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All quiet at the drop-off ballot box

The ballot box. It is the last vestige of the polling place. A touch of comfort in the new era of all-mail voting.

It was this blue box, locked and marked with “place ballot here,” that diffused tempers of an angered populace who wanted to vote in a booth and not at the dining room table. It was this blue box, tucked into a small room on the main floor of the Silverdale Community Center, that poll workers Deanna Dowell, Ellen Thornton and Sue Fox watched over for 13 hours on Tuesday.

“Only a couple people who have come in have been vocal about voting by mail,” Thornton said mid-afternoon Tuesday.

The votes came in steadily all day long, starting 15 minutes after the drop-off locale opened for business at 7 a.m. That bit of a delay was the first sign this wasn’t your average election.

“For the first time since I started doing elections,” Dowell said, “there wasn’t anyone already waiting outside to cast their

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