Spokane Valley

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9, 2011, 11:58 A.M.

Spokane Valley residents voted, but not really

I've been browsing the Spokane County Elections Office web site and noticed something interesting. Thousands of Spokane Valley residents who returned their ballots did not vote in one or more of the city council races. The County keeps track of the number of under votes, which refers to the people who did not vote for any candidate in a particular race.

The under votes for each race (as of Tuesday) are as follows: Dean Grafos/John Carroll, 2,723; Arne Woodard/Dee Dee Loberg, 3,094; Ben Wick/Marilyn Cline, 2.967. A total of 5,172 people did not mark the ballot for Chuck Hafner, who was unopposed on the ballot. In the too-close-to-call Wick/Cline race, those votes could have made the difference.

What seemed to bring people to the polls was Spokane Valley Proposition 1 to determine the fate of one-way Sprague. There were only 435 under votes on that issue.

As of today Spokane Valley voters have returned 26,621 ballots and more will be coming in over the next few days. It looks like just over 17,000 of those have been counted so far. Enough ballots remain to be counted that the results of the Woodard/Loberg race, which has Woodard winning with 51 percent of the vote, could change.

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