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With most ballots still out, today is last chance to vote

Tue., Aug. 5, 2014

If you just realized it’s primary election day and your ballot is still somewhere around the house … you’re pretty much like most people in Washington.

Less than a fourth of all ballots in Spokane County had been returned as of Monday morning, and some counties reported even lower return rates. For procrastinating voters, there’s still time to mark that ballot, seal it in the signed envelope, and then mail it in or deposit it at a drop box.

The ballot has all partisan races for congressional, legislative and county offices in this year’s elections, although only races with three or more people will see candidates eliminated in today’s primary. The top two vote-getters advance to the Nov. 4 general election regardless of partisan affiliation.

Only a relative handful of races in Eastern Washington will see eliminations. A four-way race for the 5th Congressional District has five-term incumbent Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers facing challenges from fellow Republican Tom Horne, Democrat Joe Pakootas and independent Dave Wilson.

Central Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District has a three-way House race with freshman Democrat Marcus Riccelli challenged by Independent Republican Tim Benn and Libertarian Randy Glenn II. The 4th Legislative District, which includes the city of Spokane Valley and much of the surrounding area, also has a three-way race for a House seat with appointed incumbent Leonard Christian, Diana Wilhite and Bob McCaslin, all of whom are Republicans.

One candidate will be eliminated in a pair of Spokane County races. Voters in the 3rd Commissioner District will whittle down a field that currently consists of one-term incumbent Republican Al French, Democrat Mary Lou Johnson and independent Bonnie Mager. The two who remain will run countywide in the general election. The county treasurer’s race has one-term Republican incumbent Rob Chase facing Republican Mary Kuney and Democrat Amy Biviano.

Fire District 4 has a $9.6 million bond issue and District 9 has a maintenance-and-operations levy.

Voters who mail their ballot must have it postmarked by tonight. Putting it in the mailbox for pickup means it might not get postmarked in time. It’s safer to take it to the post office.

Voters can also save a stamp by depositing the signed envelopes in a drop box. Each county sets up drop boxes at key locations. In Spokane County, those include the public libraries.

Voters who have lost or destroyed their ballot can get a replacement at the elections office, or a Voter Service Center between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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