By Oscar Halpert Herald Writer
If you’re a voter who’s put off casting your ballot, you still have time to vote — but you’d better hurry.
Your mail-in general election ballot must be postmarked or delivered to a drop box today to count in the election.
To save the stamp turn in the signed and dated ballot at any one of five drop-off locations, including a new, 24-hour Everett drop-off spot.
Snohomish County elections officials are expected to begin counting ballots at 1 p.m. today and should have a final tally available shortly after 8 p.m., said Garth Fell, elections manager.
Officials had predicted a 53 percent voter turnout, which would be about 197,000 ballots, Fell said.
As of Monday afternoon, however, ballots were being turned in at a lighter rate than officials expected.
“At this point, we’re not trending that high,” Fells said. “It will be interesting to see if we get that high a turnout, and we would encourage everybody to get out and vote, if that’s their choice.”
For the most part, the all-mail ballot process was proceeding without a hitch, except for a mad rush in Mill Creek, where last-minute voters showed up at the Mill Creek Library in droves Monday to drop off their ballots.
“It’s a nice problem to have,” said library manager Darlene Weber. “Being way too busy because we’re serving the needs of our community is the only problem a librarian wants to have.”
Reinforcements, in the form of elections office workers, arrived at the library to help ease the parking lot crowding, said county Auditor Carolyn Weikel.
“We’re trying to get those ballots before people even get out of their cars,” she said.
County voters this year will vote on two hotly debated statewide initiatives, a library tax proposition and a slew of school district, county and city council seats as well as a Superior Court judge.
Many directors for fire and water districts will also be selected in this election. Additionally, the south county cities of Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Brier are asking voters to OK an increase in the property tax levy rate to fund emergency medical services.
Oscar Halpert: 425-339-3429, email@example.com.
Ballots can be dropped off from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at the following locations:
Marysville Library, 6120 Grove St.
Mill Creek Library, 15429 Bothell-Everett Highway
Lynnwood Library, 19200 44th Ave. W.
A 24-hour drop-off site is available on the Snohomish County campus, Rockefeller Avenue and Wall Street, Everett.