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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Voter turnout at 47 percent in Clark County on eve of election

By Jake Thomas, Columbian political reporter
Published: November 5, 2018, 5:26pm
2 Photos
A line of voters drop off their ballots at the ballot box on West 14th Street in downtown Vancouver  Amanda Cowan/The Columbian files
A line of voters drop off their ballots at the ballot box on West 14th Street in downtown Vancouver Amanda Cowan/The Columbian files Photo Gallery

Voter turnout in Clark County continues to surge in anticipation of Tuesday’s election, with 47 percent of 281,554 eligible voters already casting ballots, according to the most recent tally posted by the county Elections Office.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said in an email that this election’s turnout could be around 72 percent, which puts it in line with presidential election years. In the 2016 presidential election, 77.25 percent of voters turned out.

Clark County typically has had a lower turnout rate for midterm elections. In 2014, 51 percent of the county’s eligible voters cast ballots. In the November 2017 local elections, only 30.89 percent voted.

This year’s election features a competitive race in Washington’s 3rd Congressional district between U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, and Carolyn Long, a political science professor running as a Democrat against the four-term incumbent.

In addition to statewide ballot initiatives on law enforcement, climate change and gun control, Clark County voters will also weigh in on several competitive legislative races. They’ll also decide on races for Clark County government, including county council and executive offices.

It’s too late to register to vote in this election. Registered voters who have not received a ballot should contact the Clark County Elections Office at 360-397-2345 or elections@clark.wa.gov.

Ballots can be mailed for free this year, but they must be postmarked on or before Tuesday to be counted. The deadline to return a ballot through one of the county’s ballot drop boxes is 8 p.m.

First returns should be made public around 8:30 p.m., with more returns to follow in the coming days. The election results are due to certified Nov. 27.

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Columbian political reporter