Election on track for 43% turnout

County’s voting chief says that’s typical for an odd-numbered year

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

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As of Friday afternoon, 56,453 ballots had been returned out of 226,302 mailed for Tuesday’s general election, said Tim Likness, Clark County’s elections supervisor.

That represents nearly 25 percent of the county’s registered voters and puts voter turnout on pace to be approximately 43 percent, typical of a general election in an odd-numbered year, Likness said.

Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday; drop-off ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Likness said ballots deposited in the mail Monday should be able to get a postmark by Tuesday, but encourages people who wait until Election Day to take the ballot to one of 34 drop-off sites around the county. Those sites include the Clark County Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St.

A complete list of sites can be found in the voters’ pamphlet and at http://clarkvotes.org.

Likness said it’s not unusual for people to put off voting, particularly when there are a number of statewide measures to consider and voters take time to read the for/against statements in the voters’ pamphlet.

General elections in odd-numbered years typically include nonpartisan races to fill city, county, school board and special district positions. This year, there’s one legislative seat on the ballot. Appointed state Rep. Sharon Wylie, a Democrat, is facing Republican Craig Riley in a contest to fill the second year of former Rep. Jim Jacks’ 49th District term.

Voters will decide three statewide initiatives, including a measure to privatize liquor sales, and two proposed constitutional amendments.

Voters in C-Tran’s taxing district — Clark County’s incorporated cities, the town of Yacolt and Vancouver’s urban growth boundary — will vote on a proposition that would raise C-Tran’s sales tax collection rate by 0.2 percentage point. (That translates to an extra 2 cents on every $10 purchase subject to the local sales tax).

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, election staff will begin processing the ballots.

Preliminary election results will be announced at approximately 8:30 p.m. at Gaiser Hall at Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.

Results will be posted at http://clarkvotes.org.

Stephanie Rice: http://www.facebook.com/reporterrice; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov;stephanie.rice@columbian.com.