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Spin Control

Posts tagged: ballot counts

Tell me again why Oregon’s ballot system so much better

Why do we have to wait so long for our results? some Washington candidates and campaigns whine every Election Night. Why can’t we be like Oregon?

Washington counts ballots it receives that are postmarked by election day, regardless of when they arrive. Oregon requires them to be in hand on election day; postmark doesn’t count. This is SOOOO much better, some good government groups say, because the vast majority of Oregon ballots are counted election night, while only about a half of Washington's are, and the rest come in and get counted in the succeeding days (and sometimes weeks.)

So it was with amusement that we note a story out of supposed electoral gold-standard Oregon that one of that state’s ballot issues is now in doubt because of some 13,000 ballots recently counted around the state. They’re “challenge” ballots, meaning there’s something wrong, like their signature doesn’t match the one on file.

But in fact they’re still counting in Oregon and the GMO initiative may be headed for a recount. In Washington, we’re still counting, but nothing’s in doubt.

Spokane County turnout nearing 2008 level

Voter turnout — or ballot turn-in, if you prefer — has been lagging behind the 2008 record levels this year in Spokane County. Some times by as many as 7 percentage points in a comparison of days after ballots were mailed.

But Monday and Tuesday counts of ballots delivered by mail or picked up from drop boxes shows that gap is down to about 3 percentage points, and the total number of ballots in hand by noon on Election day is actually about 6,000 higher. (It's an arithmetic thing, as Bill Clinton might say. There are more voters registered, too, so the percent of ballots back so far remains lower than in 2008).

Considering that this is a total that doesn't have the final pickup from the drop boxes at 8 p.m., or the mail deliveries on Wednesday and Thursday, it looks like Spokane County is well on its way to having the more  ballots ever cast than in 2008, when it hiin an election. The percentage of ballots in to voters registered may or may not match 2008 levels, butit's clear there are going to be a heck of a lot of ballots to count.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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