About 260 voters contacted the King County Elections Department during the first week of voting to alert the department that some ballot return envelopes were already sealed shut.

Excessive heat or rain may have played a role in this, but we also learned that one of our vendors used a new sealant on the envelopes that likely contributed to the problem, said King County elections director Sherril Huff.

Voters should carefully open the envelope or, if needed, slit the envelope open on the top. Then use a small amount of tape to reseal the envelope. If the envelope is damaged, voters may download and print a replacement envelope packet.

A handful of voters have also complained about the taste of the sealant on the envelopes. To avoid tasting the sealant, the Elections Department advises voters to use a moist sponge instead of licking the envelope, or use a small amount of tape if needed.

King County Elections Department has already taken steps to ensure that the envelopes for the next election will use a different sealant to avoid further problems.

Voters may also call the Electrions Department at 206-296-VOTE (8683) with questions or concerns.

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