September 17, 1996 in Nation/World

No Shortage Of Choices On This Ballot

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Anyone who complains about a lack of choices at the ballot box hasn’t considered today’s primary.

One of the most crowded ballots in memory features long lists of would-be office-holders: 15 governors, 14 lieutenant governors, 11 state school superintendents, seven insurance commissioners.

The top vote-getters for each of the major parties advance to the Nov. 5 general election. For the minor parties such as Libertarians, Natural Law, Socialist Workers and Reform parties, a candidate must get at least 1 percent of the total votes cast to go on to the general election.

Percentages are important on a few other races. If a candidate in the nonpartisan superintendent of public instruction race gets more than 50 percent of the primary vote, he or she is elected.

If not, the top two vote-getters will spend the next seven weeks vying for the job.

Percentages are also important for bond issues, such as the city of Spokane’s $37.8 million street repair proposal. The city will need a supermajority of 60 percent before it can sell the seven-year bond issue.

Other ballot proposals, such as the strong-mayor initiative, require a simple majority.

Turnout is projected to be about average for a statewide primary. Spokane County Auditor William Donohue was predicting about half of the county’s 220,000 voters would cast ballots today.

The county had a near-record number of requests for absentee ballots, about 20,000, for the primary. But only about 5,000 had been returned by Monday morning.

For those planning to vote at the precinct house, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Information on precinct polling locations is available from the county elections office. In Spokane, that number is 456-2320.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PRIMARY RESULTS For up-to-the-minute results in contested primaries, after 9:30 p.m. call Cityline at 458-8800 and press category 9494 then press the number below: 1: Governor, 5th Congressional District; 2: Spokane County; 3: Local legislators; 4: City ballot measures; 5: Other county commissioners; 6: Insurance commissioner, state school superintendent

This sidebar appeared with the story: PRIMARY RESULTS For up-to-the-minute results in contested primaries, after 9:30 p.m. call Cityline at 458-8800 and press category 9494 then press the number below: 1: Governor, 5th Congressional District; 2: Spokane County; 3: Local legislators; 4: City ballot measures; 5: Other county commissioners; 6: Insurance commissioner, state school superintendent


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