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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Mike McLaughlin

Registration up but ballots coming in slower

Spokane County has record voter registration this year, but it may not be on track to have a record turnout.

Or “turn-in” if you prefer the more accurate description of how Washington states.

A comparison of the rate of ballot returns up to today shows Spokane is significantly behind the rate in 2008. It is, however, ahead of the rates in the last two non-presidential years with other partisan races, 2006 and 2010.

State elections officials, who are expecting this year to fall behind the 2008 record for ballots cast, now say they may have to revise their forecast upwards. Turn-in statistics in some of the state's other large counties have Washington elections officials are in line with four years ago. 

Today is significant in Spokane County for two reasons. One, it's a week before the deadline for mailing or depositing ballots in drop boxes. The second is that this is the day when Spokane County turn-in figures show the ballots placed in drop boxes over last weekend, so there's usually a significant bump from Monday.

Right now, ballot turn-in stands at 31.1 percent, or 88,326 of the county's 282,139 registered voters ballots. Four years ago it was 36.3 percent, or 95,369 of the county's 258,162 registered voters. In other words, it's off by about 7,000 ballots.

County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin doesn't think this is necessarily a sign that voters are less interested in this year's presidential election.

“They're voting later,” McLaughlin said. “I think the initiatives are slowing some people down.”

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Last minute election details and tidbits

Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said he expects to post election results around 8:15 p.m. and doesn’t expect further counting until Wednesday.

Check spokesman.com for election updates. We’ll get them posted as soon as we get them.

One-third of ballots have been returned

The county received more than 14,000 ballots in the mail today. That takes the ballot return rate to 33 percent. Elections officials have guessed that turnout would be around 40 percent.

Election workers being watched

About 125 people this year volunteered to be election observers. About 80 are Republicans, and about half that many are Democrats, McLaughlin said.. One is independent. One represents the Louise Chadez campaign. A couple represent the Shelly O’Quinn campaign.

McLaughlin said observers bring “a second pair of eyes,” and are appreciated.

“The more poeple we have who know the process, the better off we are,” McLaughlin said.

More election parties

At the elections office casting his ballot Tuesday afternoon was Daryl Romeyn, former weatherman and current Democratic candidate for Congress. He said he plans to attend Chadez’s election night party at Working Class Heroes and the official Democratic gathering at Toad Hall.

City Councilman Bob Apple, who is hoping to capture the state House seat of retiring Rep. Alex Wood, said his celebration will be held tonight at Churcill’s Steakhouse.

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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.

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