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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Spokane County Elections

County primary turnout comes up deuces

Twenty-two point twenty.two

That's the percenage of turnout for those areas of Spokane County that had something on their ballot in the August primary.

About halfway between one voter in five and one voter in four.  Not quite abysmal, but definitely not very impressive.

Precinct-by-precinct, the results were pretty mixed. Highest turnout was in the town of Latah, where 72 of its 125 voters sent back a ballot, for a turnout of 57.6 percent. A three-way race for a town council seat was the big draw there.

Lowest turnout was in a northwest precinct of the city of Spokane Valley, which includes Mirabeau Park and homes south of the river. It managed only 60 ballots back of the 868 sent out, for 6.91 percent.

Recounts start Tuesday

Spokane County election officials expect to start and complete on Tuesday the first two of the three recounts they need to complete to finish work from the November election.

Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said the office plans to count the ballots from the Spokane City Council race between Richard Rush and Mike Allen and the 4th Legislative District senate race between Mike Padden and Jeff Baxter starting around 9 a.m.

The Rush-Allen recount will be completed by computer and is required because the race ended with the two candidates within a half percentage point. The senate recount will be completed manually because it was paid for by Baxter.

After this set of results is complete and the Canvassing Board meets on Wednesday, the Allen-Rush hand recount, which is being financed by the Spokane County Democratic Party, can begin.

Rush trails Allen by 88 votes.

Baxter trails Padden by 3,437 votes.

Allen lead over Rush grows by 6

This post has been changed to correct the change in Allen's lead.

The race between Richard Rush and Mike Allen for Rush's Spokane City Council seat representing the south district remains headed for a recount after the sixth day of counting.

Allen's lead grew by 10 to 98 on Wednesday, but the gap between him and rush remains within a half percentage point. Allen has 50.23 percent of the vote to Rush's 49.77 percent.

There are 268 votes left to count in the race, and most of those are ballots that won't be counted unless the voters come to the elections office to clear up descrepencies with their signature, said Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin. No more counting is expected until Nov. 28. The results will be certified on Nov. 29. If the race remains within a half percentage point, a computer recount would occur early next month, McLaughlin said.

A recount in the Rush-Allen race would be the first computer recount in Spokane County since John Driscoll beat John Ahern for a 6th Legislative District House seat in 2008. That recount changed the tally only by two votes. McLaughlin said the office has completed a couple hand recounts since then for races that were within a quarter of a percentage point, including the 2009 race for Airway Heights mayor.

Ballots are in the mail

Ballots for the Aug. 16 primary are in the mail, and should be showing up in the boxes of registered voters this week. Spokane County officials said they were sending out some 200,000 to voters around the county.

But not every voter will get a ballot because not every city, town or political district has a race with enough candidates to require a primary.

For example, the 4th District State Senate race is not on the ballot, even though it features two Republicans, incumbent Jeff Baxter and former state Rep. Mike Padden. Because primaries are no longer partisan, and because they are the only two candidates to file for the seat, the race will be decided in the Nov. 8 general election.

The City of Spokane has a primary for mayor and council president, but only voters in the city's northeast 1st District have a primary for in a council race. Only one Spokane Valley council race has enoung candidates to warrant a primary.

Ballots can be mailed back by Election Day (be sure to put a stamp on the envelope) or deposited without a stamp in a drop-off box at public libraries and other sites around the county. For a list of sites, click here.

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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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