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If Washington voters approve a ballot measure this fall legalizing marijuana, it would bring big changes – not just in the justice system, but in our communities.We can expect hundreds of official marijuana stores and fewer drug arrests. What about advertising? Night-life? Driving?KNKX is exploring how legalization might impact daily life – even if you never touch the drug.In our series If it’s legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life, we consider how things could change for all of us.

Excuses, excuses: Seattle's last-minute voters explain why they waited

This election is the first one in which Washington voters can only vote by mail. For those who are running late or want to save a stamp, there are official drop boxes, which are staffed by elections workers. They’re open till 8pm tonight. King County has eight locations.

KPLU  went to the one outside the public library in Ballard, to find out why voters there waited till the very last few hours to get their ballots in.

A few folks said they needed extra time to get into the details on controversial and complex measures, such as the initiatives to allow charter schools in Washington or to legalize recreational use of marijuana. But most just admitted they’ll use all the time available to get the job of voting done.

Here’s a sampling of the comments people made.

Shirley Tarrant:

”I guess I’m a little bit of a procrastinator. But I came here to drop it in the box too so that I could feel like I wasn’t just voting by mail.”

Tracy Slatten:

“Most of it was just procrastination and making sure I got the vote in at the last minute.”

Carissa Nelson:

“I couldn’t find my ballot until a couple days ago. (...) And it took me a long time to read up on all the candidates. I just moved here from North Carolina. I wanted to be as informed as I could. So I just used all the time that I had.”

Kendra Howe:

“I’ve been out of the country. I’ve been in Africa for the last three weeks and couldn’t wait to get back and vote. ”

Susan Hood:

”I think I’m just still in the mode of I vote on election day. And I’ve known exactly how I was going to vote for a long time and I’m just here like when I was kid with my parents, voting on Election Day. ”

Tajanna Stinn, a 20-year-old voter, said she is very excited to be voting for the first time in this election and it was mostly easy to make up her mind. She’s voting for legalizing same-sex marriage and for legalizing marijuana, she says.  “And I want Obama to be President.”

But she had to study the charter schools measure for quite a while before she decided to reject it.

“I think that money should be invested into normal public schools, rather than making like more small schools," which would not be good for the system, she said.


If you prefer not to vote by mail, you can save a stamp and use an official drop box. They’re open till 8pm tonight. King County has eight locations.

Ballot drop boxes will be staffed by elections workers till 8pm. If you’re voting by mail, you must get your ballot postmarked by midnight today.

Most post offices close at 6 pm.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to