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Mailing in Your Washington Ballot? You May Need Two Postage Stamps.

Some ballots in Washington State will be so long and heavy that they’ll require 68-cents worth of postage stamps.

October 3, 2016

Some ballots in Washington State will be so long and heavy that they’ll need two postage stamps in order to mail.  Extra postage is required if a ballot weighs over one ounce (roughly what a slice of bread weighs). 

Voters can avoid paying for postage if they return their ballots to a ballot drop-box, no stamp required. Ballots must be returned to a ballot drop-box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

Which counties mail ballots that weigh more than one ounce? And why?

Douglas, Whatcom and Snohomish counties will be mailing larger ballots.  Snohomish County, for example, lists presidential nominees in the middle column, which takes up more room on the ballot.  Each county has local election measures, in addition to state and federal elections, which add to the length and weight of ballots. If you are a voter in these counties, be sure to affix at least 68 cents  of postage on your return envelope.

Do  I need to weigh my ballot to be sure?

You don’t have to weigh your ballot. 

According to the Secretary of State Certification and Training Department, each county will notify voters if extra postage is required. Some county ballots will have it marked directly on the envelope. If you still have questions or concerns, the phone number and email addresses to each county’s auditing department can be found on the Federal Voting Assistance Program site

Do I have to mail my ballot?

Voters can mail in their ballots as soon as they are received. In fact, returning them earlier allows time to correct any issues with signatures. But there are two more options voters have in order to submit their ballots prior to Election Day. King County, for example, provides ballot drop boxes; voters can drop of their ballots here.


No postage is required. Voters can also access accessible voting centers, available for voters who need assistance completing their ballot, at

Every ballot counts.

If you think your vote doesn’t count, consider the election for Washington State Governor on Nov. 2, 2004. The governor’s race gained national attention for its close finish. It wasn’t until after a third count (the second recount done by hand) that Christine Gregoire was determined to be the winner by a mere 129 votes out of the 2,746,589 votes cast. Using units of measurement to illustrate how small that margin is, if all votes cast were equal to the height of Seattle’s Space Needle (605 feet), the margin by which Gregoire won would be equal to just under one centimeter.  


Chris Mercurio

Chris is an intern at KCTS 9 and a digital design student at Seattle University. He is passionate about creating jobs, elevating the status of designers and artists, and is currently producing an online video game that utilizes virtual reality software. Chris has freelanced as a photographer, videographer and motion graphic designer. He once taught hip-hop choreography classes in the heart of Los Angeles and is an accomplished online video gamer.

Fun fact: He likes to go to new restaurants and try the same thing.

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Does anyone know when the state of Washington will mail out voters pamphlet and ballot ?

jliu's picture
Ballots for Washington State will be mailed out Friday, October 21. For more information you can go to the Washington Secretary of State website (

Now THAT'S a creative way to suppress the vote....I'm impressed! I wish there was a way I could kick in fifty bucks at that post office to cover some postage due ballots.