Pierce County prepares for Feb. 8 special election

Pierce County will host the largest election in the state this February, calling on 374,341 voters, according to the Pierce County Auditor’s Office. Three Pierce County districts have issues on the Feb. 8 special election ballot: Pierce Transit (sales and use tax increase); Peninsula School District (bond measure); and Lakewood Fire District (fire district merger).

Pierce Transit covers a large portion of Pierce County, so most voters can participate in the upcoming special election. The three districts have requested Pierce County to mail ballots to voters. Polling places will not be open. Voters can expect to receive a voters’ pamphlet after Jan. 13. Ballots will hit mailboxes after Fri., Jan. 21.

The Auditor’s Office will open 22 ballot drop-off locations across Pierce County. A combination of ballot drop boxes and staffed express booths will be open for this election.

The county has installed eight new ballot drop boxes. “We’re offering secure, convenient locations that are accessible to our voters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And, these new boxes have a larger capacity than before,” said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson.

In addition to the ballot drop-off boxes, eight staffed express booths will open Friday, Feb. 4. The booths are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Election Day. However, some of the traditional express booth locations will no longer be available. “Six of the booths have been taken out of circulation. The booths – most built in the mid-1990s – are showing serious wear and tear and need quite a bit of maintenance,” said Anderson.

The county has provided in-person options for voters at three Accessible Voting Centers: The Tacoma Area Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities (TACID), the Center For Independence (CFI), and the Pierce County Election Center. These sites will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Voters have lots of options. Ballots can be mailed through the postal service, dropped off at a box, a booth, the Election Center, or one of our accessible voting sites,” said Anderson.

You can find a list of locations in the voters’ pamphlet and online at http://www.piercecountywa.org/elections .

Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day or dropped-off before 8 p.m. on election night.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is responsible for elections, licensing services, a variety of public records and animal control services.