A Vote-Toss Record

voters.jpgHere's the final voter breakdown - right word - from the Obama election: the ballots of 10,993 King County voters could not be counted. That's a record, total-wise, but lower, percentage-wise, than the August primary election failure rate.

Out of 774,580 registered county voters who were sent general election mail ballots, 656,565 returned them. But only 645,572 could be verified.

Among the disqualified were 1,611 voters who sent their ballots in too late. Others sent empty envelopes. Fourteen were found to have died (their ballots not processed).

The majority were "signature issues," says King County Elections spokesperson Bobbie Egan (this is her last week; she's moving on to PR for Alaska Airlines). That included 4,130 votes tossed for poor penmanship - their signatures, for

varied reasons, could not be matched to the ones on file. Another 823

forgot to sign the ballot envelope.

The good news is that the news isn't too bad. Vote disqualifications have soared in recent years, rising to 9,400 votes not counted in the county's 2008 primary. That's near the general election toss total. But twice as many people voted in November.

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