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Spokane County voter participation on par with previous cycles

Spokane County

Going into the final weekend before election day, ballots returned to the Spokane County auditor’s office are roughly in line with previous off-year election cycles.

As of Friday afternoon, 20 percent of the ballots that were mailed out in mid-October had been filled out and received by the auditor’s office. While that is only one in five, Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton says that’s consistent with elections in 2019 and 2017.

“Those numbers are right in there with what we would expect,” Dalton said Friday. “This particular election cycle is looking very much like similar cycles for an odd-year election.”

Total turnout in off-year elections is typically low. The even-year races, which include high-profile presidential, Congressional, gubernatorial and legislations, usually draw more interest and more votes.

“Based on past statistics, we’re probably looking at a final turnout of 38 to 40 percent,” Dalton said.

With four more days to go, Dalton said she expects more ballots to come in. In off-year elections, she said, voters tend to procrastinate about making their selections, so the auditor’s office usually sees an eleventh-hour wave of ballots.

Ballots can still be filled out and submitted by mail, so long as they are postmarked by 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time on election day, Tuesday, November 2. Ballots can also be deposited in special drop boxes placed around the county. A full list can be found from the county auditor’s website. Voters who have already submitted ballots can check the status of those documents by going to VoteWA.gov. Voters who live outside Spokane County can use the VoteWA website to find their nearest drop box.

Brandon Hollingsworth is your All Things Considered host. He has served public radio audiences for fifteen years, primarily in reporting, hosting and interviewing. His previous ports-of-call were WUOT-FM in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Alabama Public Radio. His work has been heard nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here and Now and NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscasts.