Washington could become all vote-by-mail state

Jan 20, 2011

Washington would become an all vote-by-mail state under a bill being considered by a State Senate committee.

Pierce County is the last in the state that still allows polling places and some of the county’s voters want to keep it that way.

Lakewood resident Erika Cranmer testified that she has not missed an election since she became an American citizen in 1951. The German native told lawmakers she does not trust vote-by-mail:

"And I urge you to go back and leave us the opportunity to go to our polls as many people want or put it to the vote of the people."

The News Tribune's Jordan Schrader reports Pierce County's poll voters are a fraction of the overall county turnout:

In November, roughly 29,000 votes came from poll sites, nearly 11 percent of those cast in the county.

Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed is pushing the vote-by-mail bill. The measure would also require mail-in ballots be returned by election night rather than postmarked by that deadline.

If Washington adopts the plan, it would follow neighbor Oregon's lead in how it conducts all-mail votes.