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Votemobile goes looking for voters

By PAT JENKINS

The Mirror

People who make it their job to encourage voter turnout put their show on the road this week.

The Votemobile, a 25-foot mobile home donated by the League of Women Voters and staffed by members of that group and King County election workers, launched an eight-city, six-day odyssey to register new voters. The tour included Federal Way Wednesday and continues tomorrow in Auburn.

The voter registration office on wheels answers an increased demand for additional registration sites outside Seattle, where the county elections department is located downtown. The idea isn’t entirely new, though. While this is the first time for the department, the League of Women Voters sponsored a “vote wagon” 40 years ago, officials said.

New voters have responded to the Votemobile’s resurrection. On its first day, 82 people registered Tuesday at a park in Seattle and a shopping center in Bellevue. Another 84, some of whom recently moved here from other states, signed up Wednesday during the vehicle’s three-hour layover at The Commons at Federal Way (formerly SeaTac Mall), according to Bobbie Egan, a spokeswoman for the elections department.

Through Wednesday, 368 new registrations were taken, including 202 at the Kent Municipal Building, Egan reported.

Since January, the county has added 104,000 new voters, raising the total to 1.3 million.

Still on the Votemobile’s schedule are Gilman Village in Issaquah today and Supermall in Auburn from 2 to 5 p.m. tomorrow and a location Monday to be announced. There, as happened at other stops this week –– including North Seattle Community College and Woodinville Community Center Thursday, and the University of Washington Student Union Building in Seattle and Central Market in Shoreline yesterday –– first-time voters will be instructed in absentee voting. By law, anyone registering between Oct. 2, the cutoff for registering by mail, and next Monday,

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