Even for an off year, ballot returns trend low

EVERETT — So far, the number of ballots marked and returned to Snohomish County is trending on the low side for an odd-year general election.

As of Monday, 32,371 ballots had been returned to the county elections division, out of more than 412,000 that were mailed to voters Oct. 17, election manager Garth Fell said.

That’s about 7 3/4 percent.

The town of Index was the leader with more than 14 percent of its ballots returned by Monday morning, according to figures on the elections division website. Mukilteo was bringing up the rear with just under 6 percent. Everett was at about 7 1/4 percent.

Usually, in a fall election in an odd-numbered year, about 45,000 ballots have been returned a week before the election, Fell said.

The final odd-year turnout averages about 48 percent, meaning roughly 197,000 ballots would need to be returned to reach the average.

Fell said the trend could change. About 40 to 50 percent of ballots are usually returned before election night, he said.

“Based on past trends, it appears we’re coming in a little lighter than that, but every election is different,” he said.

This year’s ballot includes contested races in three Snohomish County Council districts, along with statewide initiatives and races for city councils, school boards and other local boards and commissions.

All county voters should have received their ballots by Oct. 22, Fell said.

A voter may either return a ballot through the mail or bring it to one of 11 free drop-off locations around the county. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5.

The drop boxes are accessible 24 hours a day until 8 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 5. Voters also may drop off their ballots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, in the county administration building at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett. Hours will be extended on Election Day to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Snohomish County Elections has voting equipment designed for voters with disabilities available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday (Election Day) at the Auditor’s Office and the Lynnwood Library, 19200 44th Ave. W.

The Snohomish County elections office may be reached at 425-388-3444.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

King County sheriff could face felony charge in groping case

A former deputy claims John Urquhart groped him. Renton police forwarded the case to the prosecutor.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Pair charged with first-degree robbery in marijuana theft

A man was shot in the head during a holdup that was supposed to net about an ounce of pot.

Puffy-coated robbery suspect arrested on Whidbey

The suspect apparently wore the same outfit in 2 robberies at the same place in less than 2 weeks.

Planning — and patience — can ease Thanksgiving travel

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers information to help guide planning.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Front Porch

JUST FOR YOUTH Fun with leftovers The week after Thanksgiving is always… Continue reading

Most Read