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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Where do I take my ballot in Washington?

Answers to some frequently asked questions from Washington voters who haven't cast their ballots yet:

Am I too late?

No. You're actually like most Washington voters. Even though ballots were mailed out more than two weeks ago, just under half had found their back to elections officials as of Monday morning. You have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to mark your choices and properly send them off.

It's been a while since I voted. How do I find  my poll site?

It has been a while, because Spokane County went to vote-by-mail about 10 years ago, as did most of Eastern Washington. You don't go to the polls. You send back the ballot you were sent.

How do I return my ballot?

Two choices: Mail it or deposit it in a drop box. Mailing requires a first-class stamp, and the envelope must be postmarked by Tuesday. Leaving it out for the daily mail pickup could be a problem for the postmark; taking it to the post office is a safer bet.

Do I have to put a stamp on it? Isn't that like a poll tax?

Yes, a mailed envelope must have a stamp. If you think a 49-cent stamp is akin to the poll tax, an onerous and mandatory tax designed to keep poor people from voting, you might want to brush up a bit on your American history. One big difference is you can put in a a drop box without a stamp. In the days before poll taxes were ruled illegal, you couldn't vote if you didn't pay the tax. Period.

OK, I'm cheap and don't want to burn up a perfectly good stamp to do my civic duty. Where do I take my ballot?

Each county selects its drop box locations. Spokane County's are listed below; for information on other counties, click here. County employees retrieve ballots from those boxes on a regular basis, and their last run will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

What if I don't have a ballot?

If you are registered and still living in the same residence where you registered, it should have arrived by mail about two weeks ago. Check that big stack of junk mail that's been piling up on a table, desk or counter. It's an official-looking, over-sized envelope.  Registered voters who didn't get one, or who lost or damaged their ballots, can get a replacement at a Voter Service Center. Spokane County center locations are also listed below. For other counties, click here.

Can't I just print one out from online? 

No. You also cannot vote on your computer, your tablet or your cell phone. You have to mark an actual ballot.

Is there help for disabled voters?

Yes. The voter service centers have machines to help disabled voters cast ballots.

Can I still register to vote?  

No. If you aren't already registered to vote, it is not possible to register and vote on election day in Washington. That works in Idaho, but not on this side of the border.

Haven't they already counted the ballots that are in, so my vote doesn't mean anything anymore?

No, county elections officials have not tabulated the ballots. They have processed them -- checked the voter's signature on the outer envelope, then opened that envelope and passed the security envelope to someone else for opening so the secrecy of the ballot is maintained. The ballots that are opened can be scanned, but the first tabulation that counts the yes and no votes on ballot measures or the votes for each candidate doesn't happen until after 8 p.m. Tuesday. Ballots continue to come to elections offices for more than a week, and in Washington as long as they get there before the final tabulation, they are counted. Close races are often decided by those final counts.

Here's the list of drop box locations in Spokane County:

Airway Heights

1213 S Lundstrom St


4322 N Argonne Rd


610 First St

Deer Park

208 S Forest Ave


906 W Main Ave 

East Side

524 S Stone St  


305 E Main St  


4005 N Cook St 

Indian Trail

4909 W Barnes Rd 

Liberty Lake

23123 E Mission Ave 

Medical Lake

321 E Herb St

Moran Prairie

6004 S Regal St 

North Spokane

44 E Hawthorne Rd 

Otis Orchards

22324 E Wellesley Ave 

Shadle Park

2111 W Wellesley Ave

South Hill

3324 S Perry St 

Spokane Valley 12004 E Main Ave

STA Plaza

701 W Riverside Ave

Elections Office 1033 W Gardner Ave
Here's the locations of Voter Service Centers in Spokane County:
Downtown  Elections Office 1033 W Gardner Ave
Downtown STA Transit Plaza   701 W Riverside Ave
Northside  North Spokane Library   44 E Hawthorne Rd
South Hill  St. Mark’s Church    316 E 24th Ave
Spokane Valley  CenterPlace  2426 N Discovery Pl
West Plains Cheney Library 610 First St





















The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.