Time runs short for would-be voters

Most registrations must be up to date by Oct. 8; ballots to go out Oct. 15

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

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Clark County residents who are eligible to vote but haven't registered have until Monday, Oct. 8, to sign up via mail or online if they wish to vote in November.

The Oct. 8 deadline also applies to residents who need to update their addresses with the Clark County Elections Office.

Eligible voters who are not yet registered in Washington have until Oct. 29 to sign up, but after Oct. 8, those registrations must be done at the elections office, 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver.

In the Aug. 7 primary, Clark County's turnout ranked last among the state's 39 counties -- only 30.66 percent of registered voters participated in the primary.

Since the primary, an additional 2,076 people have registered to vote.

Tim Likness, the county's elections supervisor, said that as of Friday, there were 236,487 registered voters in the county. Likness expects that number to hit at least 240,000 in anticipation of the Nov. 6 general election.

In 2008, the last presidential election, local voter turnout was 85 percent, Likness said. In 2004, turnout was 83 percent.

"We're thinking we'll be above 80 percent," he said.

Would-be voters who wish to mail in a registration form -- which can be picked up at the elections office or printed online at http://sos.wa.gov/elections/register_mail.aspx -- need to make sure the application is postmarked by Saturday, Oct. 6, Likness said.

Online registration forms can be submitted until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 8 at http://clarkvotes.org.

Addresses can be changed at http://clarkvotes.org, at 360-397-2345 or at the elections office.

Ballots will be mailed Oct. 15, Likness said.

The office has already mailed approximately 2,000 absentee ballots to voters serving in the military or living overseas.

A voters pamphlet is online at http://www.clark.wa.gov/elections; interviews with candidates are at http://cityofvancouver.us/cvtv.

Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or stephanie.rice@columbian.com.