Have you grown weary of seeing election signs plastered along roadsides and your social media feed flooded with pleas from candidates and reminders to vote?
The good news is, it’s almost over.
Today is Election Day, and it’s the last day to cast your ballot.
Although voters got off to a slow start returning their ballots last week, the number of ballots coming into the Clark County Elections Office has been picking up. As of Monday, the office had received 126,245 ballots or 38.67 percent of the 326,462 ballots mailed to eligible voters in the county.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey previously said he expects voter turnout to be around 70 percent, similar to voter turnout in the 2018 midterm election.
Kimsey also said he’s expecting many voters will wait until the last day to turn in their ballots. With a lengthy ballot that includes federal, state and local races and six charter amendments, Kimsey said voters are likely just taking their time to research and complete their ballots.
As a result, it’s likely that the results of several races will not be known for certain until ballots cast or mailed on Election Day have been tallied. Initial results in Clark County are usually posted around 8:15 p.m. The results will be posted on columbian.com a short time later, with more detailed online coverage coming later this evening and in the Wednesday newspaper.
Those still needing to turn in the ballots have several options. Ballots can be mailed but should be taken to a U.S. Postal Service office to be postmarked by no later than 8 p.m. Ballots can be dropped off in any one of the county’s 22 red ballot drop boxes. A list and map of drop box locations can be found at https://clark.wa.gov/elections/ballot-deposit-locations. The last option is to drop off your ballot at the Clark County Elections Office at 1408 Franklin St., in Vancouver. The office will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
If you haven’t yet registered to vote, there is still time to get your vote counted. Voters can register in person at the elections office until 8 p.m. Just fill out and submit your registration form, which includes the voter’s legal name, date of birth, residential address in Clark County, mailing address (if not the same as residential address), Washington driver’s license number, ID card number or the last four digits of your Social Security number (ID is required to cast a ballot) and signature.
For more information about registering, go to https://clark.wa.gov/elections/registering-vote or call 564-397-2345.
Although we’re still weeks away from having certified election results, there are already concerns about how votes are being cast. Two Clark County voters contacted the elections office recently with concerns about possible ballot harvesting. Also known as ballot collecting, ballot harvesting is the practice of political groups collecting ballots from voters’ homes and dropping them off in a ballot box or at the elections office.
According to one voter, she received a call from someone claiming to be from a nonprofit who offered to pick up her ballot and take it to a ballot box. Elections Supervisor Cathie Garber said if voters want to give their ballot to someone else to mail or drop off, it should only be given to someone they know and trust.
“Do not give your ballot to a stranger,” Garber said.
As of 2022, 25 states and Washington, D.C., allow someone chosen by a voter to return mail ballots on their behalf, 11 states specify who can return a ballot — such as a caregiver or family/household member, 13 states — including Washington — have no laws specifying whether a ballot can be returned by someone other than the voter, and one state (Alabama) allows only the voter to return their ballot.