Kitsap Caucus

A blog about politics and government in Kitsap County as well as Washington state political news as it relates to Kitsap County.
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Have two stamps ready for your ballot

October 11th, 2012 by Steven Gardner

Walt Washington, county auditor, issued a statement saying ballots will begin arriving Oct. 19 and that this year’s ballot will require two first-class stamps should you choose to mail it back. Or you can weigh it to get the exact postage. The bottom line is one stamp won’t be enough.

An alternative to mailing is to drop the ballot at one of six drop boxes throughout the county. The drop boxes are at the following sites:

  • The Poulsbo Fire Station
  • The Bainbridge Island Fire Station
  • The upper parking lot at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton
  • The County Administration Building in Port Orchard
  • The Central Kitsap School District Administration Building in Silverdale
  • The Sylvan Way Kitsap Regional Library branch building in East Bremerton

Washington also offers information about licensing, housing and shelter programs and financial reporting.

Ballots for the General Election will begin to arrive in mail boxes by October 19. If you haven’t received your ballot by October 25 or if your ballot is damaged or lost, you may contact our office to receive a replacement.

With the Office of President of the United States and numerous federal, state and local contests in this election, ballots are printed on larger card stock than our standard ballot. As a result, additional postage is required to return your ballot by mail. Use two first-class postage stamps to mail your ballot, or you may wish to have the post office weigh it for exact postage.

An alternative to mailing your ballot is to use one of our six ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. Ballot drop boxes are open 24-hours a day beginning October 17 and are available until 8 p.m. on Election Night, November 6. They provide a safe, secure way for voters to deposit their ballots postage free. Each ballot drop has a drive-up slot, so voters can deposit their ballots without leaving their vehicles. A list of ballot drop locations is available on our website.

I hope that each and every one of you participates in this election by casting an informed ballot. Our government is founded on the principal of an actively participating citizenry. And informed voters are the cornerstone of our democracy. Be informed! Vote!!

Elections and Voter Registration

In 2008 we saw record turnout with nearly 126,000 Kitsap citizens voting in the Presidential General Election. More than 17,000 of those ballots were either damaged or unsigned requiring additional review by election staff.

With high turnout expected for the November 6 Presidential General Election, our staff will be working harder than ever to make sure ballots are counted in a timely and efficient manner. Voters can follow these simple reminders to improve efficiency and lower the cost of the election.

· Do not use felt-tip markers. Use a single dark line to connect the arrows when marking your ballot. Do not use a felt-tip marker or thick marks to fill in the space between the arrows. This creates stray marks that bleed through to the reverse side of the ballot and requires additional staff review.

· No frivolous write-ins. It may seem humorous to write in the name of a cartoon character, but it takes hours to review write-ins for closely contested races to verify only the names of registered voters are counted.

· Mail or deposit your ballot early. Mailing or delivering your ballot before November 6 reduces Election Day volumes and ensures ballots are received in time to be counted and part of the immediate tally on Election Night.

Financial Services

Kitsap County recently launched software that will make financial reporting more efficient and reduce the time it takes to produce our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report by several weeks. This software will be used to create a second report, the Popular Annual Financial Report, that is designed to help citizens better understand the financial reports we produce. We are among the first counties in the state to provide a Popular Annual Financial Report, which will be available by June 2013.

Previously in Accounts Payable we reported the testing of a new paperless processing system. This new system makes it easier for departments to process their records while making it easier for our staff to audit those records. Testing was conducted with five departments that have been moved onto the system permanently. We are now rolling out the system to other departments and training staff.

Recording Supports Housing and Shelter Programs

During the 2012 Legislative Session, the Legislature changed one of the surcharges collected to support housing and shelter programs for homeless persons. On September 1 the new surcharge of $40 went into effect and is applied only to documents related to real property.

As a result, the total recording fees for General Recorded Documents are:
· $32 for the first page if the document is not real property related

· $72 dollars for the first page if the document is property related

The new recording fee list is available on our website.

For any additional information, please feel free to contact Recording staff 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday at 360-337-4935; or email AuditorRecLic@co.kitsap.wa.us.

Licensing

Washington State Department of Licensing Introduces “LICENSE EXPRESS”
The Department of Licensing (DOL) introduced a fast, easy way to manage your driver’s license and all of your vehicle, trailer and boat licenses in one secure service called License Express. You can sign-up for this via DOL’s website at www.dol.wa.gov.

The new service allows people to take care of the most common DOL license transactions like renewals and address changes. It also makes it easy to take care of many less common tasks like ordering a duplicate driver license or ID card, signing up for email renewal reminders, ordering copies of your driving record, and reporting the sale of vehicles or boats.

DOL will highlight a vehicle when it is time to renew, or you may sign up to have a reminder sent to you by email. Also, work is being done on an app for mobile devices.

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