Primary Ballot Returns Slow in Chelan & Douglas Counties
Washington’s primary election is tomorrow (August 1).
Ballots were mailed to voters in the state over two weeks ago on July 15. However, thus far, both Chelan and Douglas Counties haven't seen very many returned.
“Returns have been a little light so far,” says Douglas County Auditor, Thad Duvall. “We’re just between 21 and 22 percent returned right now, so we’re hoping for a big push through the mail and our drop boxes so that we can get our percent returned much higher.”
In neighboring Chelan County, auditor Skip Moore says ballot returns have also been light but things are starting to pick up.
“Return of ballots has been kind of slow (but) it’s ramped up in the last couple days. We had just a little trickle of ballots in, and then a ramp up.”
Moore speculates the lull in ballots to this point might be due to many voters taking extra time to research the candidates and make their decision.
“They’re looking at candidates a little bit closer,” says Moore. “There are some significant primary races that will determine who’s going to move on to the general (election). And I think we still have some concerned folks who are holding their ballot closer to the vest before they return it over fears of perceived security issues.”
The offices of both auditors have experienced an increase in calls related to security concerns over the elections process.
“We’ve received several calls about making sure that we have good security surrounding our elections process and ballot pick up operations,” explained Duvall. “We’ve assured people that we have all of the procedures in place to make sure that everything is secure.”
Ballots for the primary election must be postmarked no later than August 1 or dropped off at a designated return site by no later than 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday (August 1).
Those who would like to vote but aren’t registered still have time to sign up, and can do so at either auditor’s office until the close of business hours on Tuesday (August 1).