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Grant, Asotin Co. voters mistakenly sent ballots requiring postage

The Washington Secretary of State's office said people can use a ballot drop box or put a stamp on ballot-return envelopes to ensure their votes are counted.

OLYMPIA — This is the first year voters in Washington are able to vote by mail without paying for postage, but voters in two Eastern Washington counties will still have to use a stamp if they want to mail in their ballot.

The Washington Secretary of State’s office was notified on Monday that vendors in Asotin and Grant counties mistakenly provided voters with General Election ballot-return envelopes that require postage.

According to the secretary of state's office, a Tacoma-based mail vendor contracted by Asotin and Grant counties to distribute ballots to registered voters used the wrong envelopes.

“Our job is to be sure that voters in both of these counties are treated the same as the voters in Washington’s other 37 counties,” Secretary Kim Wyman said. “That’s why my office is assisting elections officials in those two counties to find a quick resolution.”

Elections officials are encouraging those who wish to vote immediately to use the county’s ballot drop boxes. Voters who wish to mail their ballots may put stamps on ballot-return envelopes to ensure their votes are counted and prevent any issues with postal processing of unstamped envelopes.

“One of the advantages of Washington’s vote-by-mail system is that we have an 18-day voting period before Election Day to identify and correct any issues that come up,” Secretary Wyman said. “People sometimes make mistakes, and these counties have time to correct the problem. That’s the goal we’re working toward.”