Meet the Director
Director Julie Wise was first elected in 2015. Her election followed a long career with King County Elections that began in 2000 when Julie was hired to answer voter questions and provide assistance in the phone bank. In the years between, Julie worked her way up to Deputy Director, with time spent in nearly every work area. In her more than twenty years of service to voters, Julie has earned both her state and national certifications in election administration.
A champion for increasing both accessibility and security, Julie is dedicated to removing barriers to voting, while maintaining accuracy, security, and transparency. She has been a vocal advocate for expanding language access and has been successful in adding four non-English languages to King County Elections’ suite of full-service languages. The department now provides ballots, voting materials, all correspondence, customer service, and voter education materials in seven languages.
Julie has expanded voter outreach and education through the Voter Education Fund, a first-of-its-kind public philanthropic partnership that provides funds and training to community organizations doing non-partisan voter registration and education work in historically marginalized communities.
Additionally, Julie’s push for prepaid postage in King County led to statewide action resulting in prepaid postage for all Washington voters in 2018. Under her leadership, King County has expanded ballot drop box locations dramatically, going from just 10 when she took office to over 75 today.
In her years as Director of Elections, Julie has been recognized at many levels for her contributions to elections and drive for innovation. Recent honors include the Washington chapter of the Korean American Coalition’s Rocky Kim Pioneer Award, 2019 Fix Democracy First Election Official of the Year, and the Voter Outreach Award from the Washington Secretary of State in both 2017 and 2021.