The August primary marked the first time Washington voters could receive text alerts on the status of their ballots (Tim Robberts/Getty Images)
Did you get a text when election workers opened your primary ballot?
And another when it had been accepted for counting, or if it wasn’t and you needed to act?
The August primary was Washington’s first election in which voters statewide could sign up for text updates as their ballots were received and accepted by county elections offices. Subscribers to the texts also got alerts if their ballot had a problem – like they forgot to sign it – with directions to take action to get it tallied.
Roughly 3,900 voters signed up for the notifications, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. It can be done by adding a cell phone number to a new or existing voter registration either online via votewa.gov or in person at a county elections office.
“Getting a text message when your ballot is processed adds transparency and trust in our system,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said in a statement.
Sign-ups began a few days before the Aug. 1 primary. As word spreads, the number of participating voters is expected to rise for elections this fall, and next year.
Auditors have wanted to offer this option for a while, Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell said.
“It’s a win for voters,” he said. “They’ll have confidence when their ballot has been received.”
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.