No problems in Kitsap with same-day voter registration

There was no rush and no crush.

Kitsap County election workers had less than a dozen people show up on Election Day to take advantage of same-day voter registration, made possible by Washington’s new election management system, VoteWA.

Under the new program, voters can register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day.

“We got 11 same-day registrations,” said Kitsap County Auditor Paul Andrews.

He said election officials didn’t really have an idea of how many people would show up on Aug. 6, the day of the 2019 Primary Election, to sign up to vote.

“We didn’t really have any expectation,” Andrews added. “We weren’t sure what it would look like, so we just tried to prepare.”

He said their goal was as long as people were inside the door at the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office by the time voting ended, at 8 p.m. Election Night, “everyone was going to get registered and everyone was going to get a ballot issued to them.”

Andrews said an estimated 3,000 voters across the state registered to vote on Election Day.

Last Tuesday’s primary was a chance for election workers to go through the paces of the new VoteWA system in a real election, and get a sense for the software and the time required to register someone for same-day voting, Andrews said.

Those are valuable lessons, considering that the General Election will result in more interest and more voters.

“Looking at the presidential election, we know the numbers are going to get bigger. This was just a good practice for the staff,” he said.

A total of 20,648 people cast ballots in last week’s primary in Kitsap County, and turnout in the county was pegged at 22 percent of registered voters.

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