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Election officials mailing out ballots

A record number of ballots are in the mail in Spokane and Kootenai counties.

Spokane and other Washington counties began mailing out their ballots on Wednesday. In Spokane, where a record number of voters are on the rolls, it will take two days to mail ballots to the more than 356,000 voters. The final deadline for voter registration is Monday, but it must be done in person.

Ballots should arrive in mailboxes by this weekend, but give the postal service a little leeway, elections officials said.

Call (509) 477-2320 if you don’t have yours by Oct. 24. They must be postmarked or deposited at drop boxes by Nov. 4.

In Kootenai County, which also has record registration that tops 72,000 voters, Elections Manager Deedie Beard said they have sent out more than 10,000 absentee ballots, about even with the 2004 general election. But there are two weeks remaining to request an absentee ballot in Idaho, and Beard’s office is getting between 200 and 400 requests a day.

“I think it’s the trend across the country,” Beard said of the record number of registrations. Some candidates are sending out absentee requests with their campaign literature, she said.

Pre-election registration in Idaho closes Friday, but voters in that state can register and cast a ballot on Election Day. Absentee ballots in Idaho must be received by elections officials by 8 p.m. on Nov. 4.

Jim Camden

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