Most ballots remain out as Election Day arrives

About 14.5 percent of voters had returned theirs as of Monday

By Will Campbell, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

Here are your options if you still haven’t voted

Election day is today. If you are registered to vote but haven’t received a ballot, you may not be eligible to vote in this election. If you need a replacement ballot, you can go to https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVote/#/login and enter your personal information. Then you can print out a replacement ballot and send it to the auditor.

The Clark County Auditor recommends submitting the ballot by 8 p.m. in one of the county’s drop-box locations:

 West 14th and Esther Streets in downtown Vancouver.

 Battle Ground City Hall parking lot, 109 S.W. First St.

 Fisher’s Landing Transit Center, 3510 S.E. 164th Ave., Vancouver.

 99th Street Transit Center, 9700 N.E. Seventh Ave., Vancouver.

 Downtown Camas Post Office, 440 N.E. Fifth Ave.

 Vancouver Mall, southwest of Sears at the end of a parking row near the C-Tran Vine station.

You can also mail your ballot, but it must be postmarked Aug. 1. The elections office recommends to go into the post office buildings and hand in the ballots because putting them in the 24-hour mailboxes may not get them turned in on time.

For more information, go to https://www.clark.wa.gov/elections

Election results will be released at 8:30 p.m. Follow @thecolumbian on twitter or go to http://www.columbian.com/news/politics/election

As ballots trickle in for today’s primary election, the numbers reflect some of the worst voter turnout in recent memory.

As of Monday, about 14.5 percent of voters had turned in their ballots. Looking back to 2001, that’s the lowest turnout Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey has seen leading up to a primary election.

“We certainly wish more people would exercise their right to participate in government,” Kimsey said. “These local races have a direct impact on people.”

Kimsey expects the number of ballots to climb today, bringing the total up to about 20 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

That low turnout is similar to results from previous odd-year primaries when there is no presidential race or other high-profile — and often highly partisan — contests for federal and state offices.

Turnout also tends to be lower during primaries versus general elections.

A primary election will narrow down the number of candidates but won’t elect a candidate — that comes in November during the general election.

Kimsey also said the turnout percentage also can take a hit after presidential elections because those years typically spur an increase in the number of registered voters that remains high into the next year.

Turnout isn’t the only thing taking a hit this year, though. Last week, The Columbian found also that the funding for this election was also low in the races for Vancouver mayor and city council.

Vancouver City Council member Jack Burkman thought that was partly because the races aren’t as competitive as they have been in recent years.

Burkman keeps track of the yearly election data and pointed out that 1 out of 5 people choose who can participate in the general election.

“People just aren’t paying attention,” Burkman said. “A lot of people are just turned off with politics in general.”