If you get your ballot returned to you in the mail asking for signature verification, it might be because you don’t sign your name the same way you did when you registered to vote, Grays Harbor County Elections Supervisor Katy Moore says you still have time to return it and get your ballot counted. “When we get a ballot, it’s put into a group and is manually reviewed. Every single signature is compared by the signature that we have on file. If your signature gets challenged – because maybe you signed it when you were 18 and now you’re 40 and sign a different way, We send a letter out, and we give them until the day before certification, November 24th, to respond to that letter.” The verified signature will go on file for future elections.
Moore said some people don’t even realize they’ve changed, “I get a lot of people that come in, they’re asking questions about their signature. I pull their ballot envelope out, pull the signature up that I have on file and everybody is surprised. They’re like ‘Ohh I forgot I used to sign my name that way.’ This is why we do it, and we do it for a good reason. The people that vote need to sign the outside ballot [envelope] and that’s one of the verification processes that we have.”
Election day is next week, the Grays Harbor County Auditor’s office reports they have mailed out 37,375 ballots, and have already processed almost 9,000 Elections Supervisor Katy Moore tells us early voter turnout is just over %23.
Moore reminds voters to make sure they get their ballots in the mail on time, she said any ballots postmarked after November 4th will not get counted in the November General Election. “I did a quick survey of the post offices in our county asking what time they change the postmark date on mail. The times are different depending on if the mail is dropped off at the local post office or put in one of their blue collection boxes.”
Mail ballots dropped off after the cutoff time are postmarked with the NEXT day’s date.
City Post Office Cutoff Collection Box Cutoff
Aberdeen 5 p.m. 1 p.m.
Hoquiam 5:00 1:00
Cosmopolis 5:00 1:00
Montesano 5:00 1:30
Elma 4:00 2:00
McCleary 3:30 1:30
Ocean Shores 4:30 11 a.m.
Moore adds “You made the effort to vote and put the ballot in the mail. Make sure it counts by putting it in the mail early enough to be dated correctly!”
If do wait until the last minute, make sure your ballot is counted by putting it in one the drop box locations around the county, they are kept open until 8 p.m. on election day.
Candidate filing week begins today, and closes at 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2014. Elections Supervisor Katy Moore tells us candidates wishing to file in person can do so at the Grays Harbor County Auditor’s Office, 100 W Broadway, Suite 2, Montesano, WA. Mail in candidate declarations can also be sent to the above address. On-line, candidates can go to www.vote.wa.gov/graysharbor for a list of open offices and how to file.
There are 21 Offices up for election in Grays Harbor including Herb Welch’s County Commissioner seat, and Rus Sholrood’s PUD Commissioner seat, as well as County Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Coroner, Presecutor, Sheriff, Treasurer, 2 District Court Judges, and 4 Supreme Court Justice positions.
Also open for election is U.S. Rep Dereck Kilmer’s seat, along with State Reps Dean TakkKo Brian Blake, Kevin Van De Wege and Steve Tharinger.
Filing week closes at 4:30 p.m., Friday, the Primary is August 5, 2014. The General Election is November 4, 2014.