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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Pacific NW

Washington ballots for Nov. 3 election are in mail

Oct. 14, 2015 Updated Wed., Oct. 14, 2015 at 10:28 p.m.

If you’re a registered voter in Washington, your ballot should be showing up in your mailbox in the next few days.

County elections officials began to mail ballots for the general election Wednesday to nearly 4 million voters. They’re due back by the evening of Nov. 3, but voters can mail or deposit them in drop boxes any time before that.

If state elections officials are right, fewer than half will come back.

In announcing the official start of the election, Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office estimated turnout would be about 46 percent.

The ballot mostly involves races for offices in cities, towns and local districts, although the top has two statewide initiatives, one that tries to force the Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment that requires a supermajority for tax increases and another that would place state penalties on trafficking in endangered animal parts.

There also are four advisory measures on state tax increases.

Spokane city voters will elect a mayor, council president and half of their City Council.

Spokane Valley city voters have three council positions on the ballot, although one is unopposed.

School, fire, water, sewer and cemetery districts are electing board members or commissioners.

Spokane County voters will decide whether to expand their board of commissioners – the legislative and executive arm of county government – from the current three members to five.

Spokane city voters have a proposition on worker rights that includes family wage and equal pay requirements, and two advisory questions on how the city should pay for that proposition if it passes.

In all, Washington has 3,043 races on the ballot, with 3,942 candidates, state elections officials said. That math suggests that many candidates are running unopposed.

After marking the ballot, voters must place it in the security envelope and then in the mailing envelope, which must be signed.

Mailing the ballot requires postage; placing it in a drop box is free.

Voters who are registered should get their ballots in the next few days.

If one doesn’t arrive by Oct. 23, voters should call the county elections office for a new ballot.

State residents who aren’t registered have until Oct. 26 to sign up, but must do so in person at the county elections office.

Spokane County has drop boxes at most public libraries and several other locations.

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