Spin Control

Spokane County turnout nudges past 10%

Slightly more than 30,000 ballots for the Aug. 5 primary have been returned to the Spokane County elections office.

That pushes turnout -- or turn in, to be more precise -- to about 10.5 percent countywide. County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said the county is on track for the predicted turnout of between 35 percent and 40 percent total.

The four-way primary in the 5th Congressional District and a three-way primary for a 4th Legislative District House seat are drawing interest, McLaughlin said. The 6th Legislative District Senate race is also getting attention, even though it has only two candidates so both will advance to the general.

As usual, the mailbags were heavy on Monday, after the first weekend ballots had been in homes after they were mailed out the middle of last week. That's often the heaviest day for ballot returns until the Monday before the election.  People who know who they plan to vote for (or against) in all races tend to mark their ballots and drop them in the mail, as do folks who plan to be gone at some point between now and the election and don't want to forget. 

Unlike primaries in some odd-numbered years which can be hit or miss for having enough candidates for some municipal elections, all voters in the state get a ballot this year because of primaries for federal and state elections. Most of those offices are partisan. But under the state's primary system, the candidate with the most and second-most votes advance to the general, regardless of party. 

Primary turnout in even-year elections typically is near or above 40 percent, McLaughlin said. One exception was 2002, which like this year had no primaries for statewide offices or a U.S. Senate seat and had a turnout of 36 percent.

Ballots must be marked, placed in the provided envelopes which must be appropriately signed, and deposited at a drop box by 8 p.m. Aug. 5 or mailed with proper postage so they are postmarked by that date. 

Spokane County drop boxes can be found at public libraries. For a list of addresses, click here to go inside the blog.

Election junkies who want to follow the turnout statistics can click here and call up the latest PDF under Statistics.

Drop Box Locations

Airway Heights Library              1213 S. Lundstrom St.

Argonne Library                      4322 N. Argonne Rd.

Cheney Library                         610 First St.                                      

Deer Park Library                    208 S. Forest Ave.

East Side Library                      524 S. Stone St.                               

Elections Office                     1033 W. Gardner Ave.

Fairfield Library                          305 E. Main Street                         

Hillyard Library                         4005 N. Cook St.

Indian Trail Library                    4909 W. Barnes Rd.                       

 Liberty Lake Library                 23123 E. Mission Ave.      

Medical Lake Library                 321 E. Herb St.                                

Moran Prairie Library                  6004 S. Regal St.

North Spokane Library                44 E. Hawthorne                            

Otis Orchards Library                 22324 E. Wellesley Ave.   

Shadle Library                            2111 W. Wellesley Ave.                 

South Hill Library                        3324 S. Perry St. 

Spok. Downtown Library              906 W. Main Ave.                                     

Spokane Valley Library               12004 E. Main Ave.           

STA Plaza                                   701 W. Riverside Ave.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Legislative and state government reporter, political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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