Thousands of new ballots counted each day in Snohomish County

By Evan Smith

The number of counted Snohomish County ballots goes up by several thousand each day even though it’s been nearly two weeks since the Nov. 8 general election.

It’s mainly because of ballots that need to be duplicated to correctly count corrections that voters make on their ballot. That usually happens when a voter crosses out his or her first choice for a position or measure and makes a second choice; a counting machine rejects the ballot, so elections workers need to look over the ballot and mark a new ballot to accurately reflect the voter’s intent.

Just Monday, county officials marked more than 8,000 ballots for counting.

Those duplicated ballots make up the bulk of the new ballots counted each day. A few newly counted ballots are from voters who needed to send a signature correction. Even fewer are late-arriving ballots from military and overseas voters.

Snohomish County Elections Manager Garth Fell said making the process faster would require hiring more workers, something that would cost the county more money.

The newly counted ballots bring Snohomish County’s voter turnout through Monday afternoon to a little more than 76 percent.

The Town of Woodway continues to lead South Snohomish County in voter turnout. Returns posted through Monday show that 88 percent of the 1,022 registered voters in Woodway have voted.

Woodway voters joined with those in Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas to give the Snohomish County part of the 7th Congressional District a turnout of 84 percent.

Voters in Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas have joined with those in Lynnwood to give the Snohomish County part of the 32nd Legislative District a turnout of 78 percent.

The city of Lynnwood has a 75 percent turnout.

Most of Edmonds joined with unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood, northeast of Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett to give the 21st Legislative District a turnout of 77 percent.

The Snohomish County part of the 1st Legislative District, including Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Bothell and unincorporated areas north and east of Bothell had a turnout of 79 percent.

The unincorporated areas that make up Snohomish County Fire District 1 show a turnout of 76 percent.

Snohomish County’s reported turnout of 76 percent compares to a statewide turnout of 78 percent.

County officials plan to post updated results Tuesday afternoon and certify final results a week later.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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