NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Heads up: King County Elections will be counting ballots *around the clock* this year

Since the advent of vote by mail in Wash­ing­ton State’s largest coun­ty sev­er­al years ago, jour­nal­ists, activists, and cit­i­zens around these parts have become accus­tomed to a King Coun­ty Elec­tions results sched­ule that looks like this:

  • Elec­tion Night: 8:15 PM results drop
  • Sub­se­quent days: Addi­tion­al results post­ed around 4 or 4:30 PM

But this year, things are going to be dif­fer­ent. Very different.

Deter­mined to speed up the pro­cess­ing of bal­lots, King Coun­ty Elec­tions has added a night shift, and plans to release fresh num­bers in the mid­dle of the night, every night, for the next sev­er­al days. This is the post­ing sched­ule for this year:

  • Elec­tion Night, 8:15 PM: First results drop
  • Wednes­day, 1:30 AM: Sec­ond results drop
  • Wednes­day, 3:30 PM: Third results drop
  • Thurs­day, 3:30 AM: Fourth results drop

Yes, you read that cor­rect­ly… King Coun­ty Elec­tions plans to release new num­bers at 3:30 AM — as in the mid­dle of the night — every day start­ing Thurs­day, Novem­ber 10th, and end­ing Sun­day, Novem­ber 13th.

They are not stop­ping for Vet­er­ans Day or the week­end. They will be count­ing around the clock until we get to Sun­day. The pace will slow after that, but there will still be dai­ly releas­es up until Thanks­giv­ing hits.

There­after, the plan is for there to be one results post­ing a day at 3:30 PM. That changes to 5:30 PM once we get to Thanks­giv­ing week.

You can see the cal­en­dar for your­self here.

So, for the next few days, you can expect fresh num­bers to already be avail­able out of King Coun­ty when you wake up, due to the night shift and the new twen­ty-four hour oper­a­tions King Coun­ty has instituted.

Clear­ly, man­age­ment at King Coun­ty Elec­tions does­n’t want to be a lag­gard in this elec­tion. They have been antic­i­pat­ing a huge vol­ume of bal­lots, and they have obtained funds from the King Coun­ty Coun­cil to work around the clock so that the pile of unprocessed bal­lots does­n’t get out of hand. As a con­se­quence, results watch­ing is going to feel very, very dif­fer­ent here than it has in years past.

Pierce Coun­ty Elec­tions also plans a Wednes­day AM release, though not in the mid­dle of the night. They’ll drop fresh num­bers at 9:30 AM tomorrow.

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