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.