Nearly 1 in 5 election ballots returned in Clark County

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Nearly one in five ballots mailed to registered voters in Clark County have been filled out and returned to the elections office.

On Oct. 15, the Clark County Elections Department mailed out more than 241,000 ballots to registered voters in the county. As of Wednesday (Oct. 24), about 42,000 made it back to the elections office.

So far, voter turnout is similar when compared to the 2008 general election. By Oct. 24 in 2008, about 44,000 ballots had been returned in Clark County.

In 2008, ballots also were mailed out to voters on Oct. 15. The Columbian's comparison between the county's 2008 and 2012 ballot returns cover the same number of business days between Oct. 15 and Oct. 24 during both election cycles. The elections department does not tabulate ballot return numbers on Saturday or Sunday.

Clark County Elections Supervisor Tim Likness cautioned against drawing any conclusions from ballot return figures. He did say, however, that comparing ballot returns from the same date (Oct. 24) in 2008 and in 2012 is "probably a fair comparison."

The office of the Secretary of the State predicts a 81 percent voter turnout statewide in the 2012 general election. In 2008, general election turnout was 84.6 percent.

Ballots in the Nov. 6 vote-by-mail general election must be postmarked by Nov. 6. Ballots also can be returned to several drop-off locations throughout the county by no later than 8 p.m. Nov. 6.

For more information, go online to Clark County Elections or call the elections department at 360-397-2345.