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Last-minute voters face long lines at Renton vote center

There are 1.45 million registered voters in King County, and elections officials projected they would post more than 1 million votes on Election Night.

RENTON, Wash. — King County Elections warned voters to steer clear of the department's Renton headquarters to avoid long lines of people turning in last-minute ballots on Election Night.

Officials recommended voters instead go to centers in Kent, Federal Way, or at CenturyLink Field in Seattle where lines are shorter.

King County Elections Director Julie Wise said the number of returned ballots is a record so far and still going up.

The county said it will officially be able to post more than 1 million votes for results Tuesday night, to get a better ideas of how the races are turning out.

More than 79% of King County’s 1.45 million registered voters had returned ballots by Tuesday afternoon.

Wise said the cutoff for the 73 drop boxes in King County is 8 p.m. Tuesday, but she adds that anybody who is in line at that point will be allowed to drop off their ballot.

Hundreds of workers who normally process ballots at King County Elections in Renton headed to drop sites for the final pickups Tuesday evening.

Mailed ballots must have a Nov. 3 postmark to be counted in Washington state, and the elections department promises they will be counted.

The state releases new numbers by county after 5 p.m. One change includes the percentage of total ballots received relative to where the state was in the days leading up to the election in 2016.  

More than one in four voters statewide lives in King County. The total number of state voters stood at 4.86 million as of Oct. 27. 

What will we know on Election Night? Wise said the staff will have processed what they have in-house for public release shortly after 8 p.m. That means signatures checked, and machines that have been scanning 18,000 ballots an hour will have those votes recorded into a computer server.

The counting will start with the click of a button, a process that King County Elections says only takes a few minutes.  

The totals will be updated daily.


Track election results and analysis with KING 5

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, watch NBC coverage of the 2020 election on KING 5 from 4-11 p.m. to follow national election results and analysis.

Tune in to western Washington election coverage from 8-11 p.m. on KONG and 11 p.m. to midnight on KING 5. Local coverage will also stream live on king5.com and the KING 5 app.

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