TACOMA, Wash. - Tuesday marks four weeks away from the 2020 General Election and communities across Washington are already seeing historic voter registration numbers.
Pierce County Auditor, Julie Anderson, said the office is preparing for the biggest election in county history.
“We expect 85% turnout but we’re prepared for 90%. That is huge, huge. And we’re excited,” said Anderson.
Excitement for the General Election is pulsing statewide. The Washington Secretary of State reports more than 4.5 million people were registered to vote in 2019. As of October 1, 2020, there are more than 4.7 million active registrations, and SOS anticipates an additional 100,000 by November.
In Pierce County, Anderson said they’re seeing record registration numbers at nearly 550,000.
“There’s a whole bunch of brand new registrations too—people that haven’t participated in the past or maybe they’re coming of age, they’re turning 18 participating in their first election,” said Anderson.
The elections office is also busy with several voters casting their ballots early.
“I think this is a very pivotal election and I wanted to be part of it,” said Tom Hurlburt, who returned his ballot early. “I think people are realizing how important it is. Register and vote. It’s not only a privilege it’s a responsibility.”
The process of voting requires having a plan. The NFL wants to help voters by getting them ready for November 3rd. In a new PSA for its “NFL Votes” campaign, the league announced 16 clubs will their facilities for election events.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson were featured in the PSA.
“Last election, millions of voters were unable to cast their ballots. Why? No game plan. What’s yours?” said Carroll.
The Seahawks are opening Centurylink Field for ballot drop-offs, election support and voter registration.
“I registered early and I got it done,” said Wilson.
Anderson is encouraging people to make a checklist ahead of the General Election. Some of her tips include:
- Register to vote at VoteWa.gov
- Check their mailbox for the official ballot
- Complete, sign and return ballots early
- Track ballot to ensure it is counted at VoteWa.gov
95% of people in Pierce County live within a two-mile radius of a ballot drop box. The county auditor is urging people to drop their ballots off early. Anderson said this will help her staff process the record breaking number of ballots they’ll receive this election.
“If you’ve already made up your mind don’t delay. Just vote right away that’s the biggest help. Don’t wait until the last minute,” said Anderson.
Ballots will be mailed starting October 16th. Voters can also return ballots by mail at no charge with the authorized envelope provided by the U.S. Postal Service. Voters should be sure to sign their return envelopes have them postmarked by Election Day, November 3rd.