Elections

Poulsbo’s in-person polling place popular, mostly for the stickers

POULSBO — Poulsbo had one issue on the ballot this election season, the primary contest for City Council position 7.

For Betty Sarachene, that wasn’t enough to warrant a stamp, so she stopped by the Poulsbo Fire Department Tuesday, one of only two locations in the county where residents can vote in person, and dropped off her mail-in ballot. The other in-person polling place is in Port Orchard, but ballots could be dropped at other locations, or postmarked by Tuesday.

“With the price of stamps, why not go here?”

Other residents had the same idea, dropping off their ballot at a polling place rather than a post office — the collection box was about a third full by the afternoon.

In the past, the fire department poling spot has seen plenty of business — the 2008 presidential election, most recently — but as of Tuesday afternoon the post saw a single voter come in to the use the electronic machine, said Faith Reierson of Bremerton, one of the poll volunteers.

She’s had voters who longed for the old way, and insisted on voting in person, but others arrived worried because they couldn’t find their ballots.

Or, in one case, the ballot met a soggy end, when a parent reported their child had chewed up the ballot beyond recognition.

“You aren’t going to make that up,” Reierson said.

And then there are the little things people might miss from developing the habit of voting in gymnasiums and church basements.

“You’d be surprised how many people come in to drop off their ballots just so they can have a sticker,” Reierson said.

Sarachene agreed, “I’m very happy with my sticker.”

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