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Mail-in ballots in some counties need more than 1 stamp

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SEATTLE — Extra-long ballots in three Washington counties mean it will take more than a single stamp for some voters to mail in their votes this year.

Our news partner The Seattle Times reports that extra initiatives in Snohomish, Whatcom and Douglas counties mean mail-in ballots will take more than one first-class stamp.

Ballots, however, can be returned for free in county drop boxes.

In each county, the need for extra postage is noted on both voter material and the return envelope.

Ballots were sent to voters across the state last week. In all other counties the cost to return a ballot is 47 cents, the price of a standard stamp.

The Times also reports there is another way to return ballots for free but counties don’t like to tell you about it. The Postal Service is supposed to deliver returned ballots to the counties even if they are lacking postage, rather than returning them to the sender.

“They would not reject ballots for lack of postage,” Dave Ammons, a spokesman for Secretary of State Kim Wyman, told the paper.

The state Legislature has repeatedly considered making ballots postage-free. Last year, the state estimated it would cost $2 to 3 million per two-year election cycle to put prepaid postage on every ballot.