The King County Elections Department wants to increase voter participation through prepaid postage on ballots.

Elections Director Julie Wise requested funding from the King County Council. On Wednesday, Executive Dow Constantine submitted a supplemental budget request to provide postage starting this year and include it as part of ongoing operations.

If the King County Council approves the request, ballots would include prepaid postage starting with the August primary election.

The Elections Department tested prepaid postage during last year's Special Election on Vashon Island. Voter turnout was 52% — 6 points higher than the projected 46% with the majority of ballots returned through the mail.