First, a link to the Auditor’s web page of drop box locations.
Mailing your ballot on Monday, August 6, should guarantee a post mark of August 7 - election day - and thus a valid ballot. All U.S. Postal mail boxes in our county are emptied every week day with a resulting post mark of no later than the next day. Some are emptied only once a day and some of those only in the morning. So, even a late Monday drop of a ballot in a postal box should guarantee a Tuesday post mark. I truly hope it does, because many many voters will be mailing their ballots on Monday or early Tuesday morning.
I chickened out today and found one of our county ballot drop boxes and put my ballot there. Very easy drive up and easier to put the ballot in than for curbside postal boxes. Our county auditor staff empties the boxes each day as we approach the election. At 8 pm Tuesday they will do the last emptying, so we can drop our ballot in one of these drop boxes at 7:59 pm. And be guaranteed of a valid ballot. But do not try that as there could be a line of cars at some boxes and the cutoff is at 8 pm sharp.
The new self mailing feature of ballots is a huge step forward. No stamp needed. Postage paid by out state of Washington. Many of us had to search for stamps. We do not do first class mailings as much as we used to. For security of our votes, we want to continue using paper ballots. And so mailing or dropping them off is necessary. States without paper ballots have the serious problems with hackers and mischief of voting procedures. Our county auditor Debbie Edelstein does a great job of managing our election process.
What we need next is for the U.S. Postal Service to guarantee ballots put in the mail on Mondays will get a Tuesday post mark. A question is - how much will the free postage mailing of ballots have on the usage of the drop boxes? Will drop box use go down? And how many ballots will be received with a Aug 8 post mark. I will try to follow up.