Clark County voters returning ballots at slightly slower rate than expected

CLARK COUNTY Clark County voters are returning ballots for this year’s presidential election at a slightly slower rate than county elections officials expected.Election 2016

“We are only at 83.7 percent of what we expected to have already received,” says Cathie Garber, elections supervisor for Clark County.

Ballots were mailed to Clark County voters on Wed., Oct. 19, nearly three weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 Election Day. County election officials started a daily, weekday tabulation of returned ballots on Fri., Oct. 21.

As of Tue., Oct. 25, Clark County elections officials have counted a total of 29,724 returned ballots. The ballots turned in so far represent 11 percent of the county’s 270,787 eligible voters.

Garber said the total number of returned ballots received on Mon., Oct. 24 just under 12,000 was close to what officials expected, but that ballots received in the days leading up to Monday’s count were “a little less than expected.”

“It’s not an unprecedented record number or early record number of early ballots,” Garber said. “It’s quite normal for this period before elections.”

Predicting who Clark County voters might elect to be the nation’s next president is a tough call Clark County voters have traditionally gone back and forth between Democrat and Republican picks for president, so there’s no clear indication of who might come out ahead in this year’s election.

Clark County voters returning ballots slower
Joy Joachim, of Battle Ground, drops her ballot in the drop box at Battle Ground City Hall Tuesday. Ballots were mailed to Clark County voters on Oct. 19, nearly three weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 Election Day. Photo by Mike Schultz

In 2012 and 2008, a majority of Clark County voters chose Democrat Barack Obama, but in 2004 and 2000, they went for Republican George W. Bush. In the 1990s, a majority of Clark County voters picked Democrat Bill Clinton over his Republican opponents.

In the May primary for this year’s presidential election, Clark County voters who had registered as Republicans overwhelmingly 74.7 percent, or 34,135 voters, opted for Donald Trump over other Republican candidates like Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson.

The majority of Clark County voters who registered as Democrats and voted in the May primary did not select Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic candidate for president, but opted for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders instead 51.1 percent, or 25,692 voters, went for Sanders while 48.5 percent, or 24,368 voters, chose Clinton in the May primary election.

Recent polls show that a majority of staunch Sanders supporters are now throwing their weight behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election. The Washington Post recently reported that as many as 90 percent of Sanders’ most fervent supporters say they will vote for Clinton over Republican candidate Trump, Green Party candidate Jill Stein or Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

Clark County voters who want to mail their ballots must have the ballot postmarked by Tue., Nov. 8. The deadline to return a ballot through a drop box is 8 p.m., Tue., Nov. 8.

There are six options for Clark County voters who want to deliver their ballot without a stamp before Election Day. Those locations include:

Clark County Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver

Voters can drop their ballots off in person on or before Election Day at this location, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Permanent Ballot Drop Boxes

These five, drive-up ballot drop boxes are available for 24 hours a day through Election Day:

  • Battle Ground City Hall parking lot, 109 S.W. 1st St., Battle Ground
  • Fisher’s Landing Transit Center, 3510 S.E. 164th Ave., Vancouver
  • Downtown Vancouver, corner of West 14th Street and Esther Street, Vancouver
  • Downtown Camas Post Office, 440 N.E. 5th Ave., Camas
  • 99th Street Transit Center, 9700 N.E. 7th Ave., Vancouver

On Election Day, Tue., Nov. 8, Clark County voters can drop their ballots at one of several drop boxes. For a complete list of Election Day-only boxes, click here.

If you have not received your ballot in the mail by today, Tue., Oct. 25, and you are registered to vote in Clark County; or if your ballot becomes lost or damaged, contact the Clark County Elections Department by calling (360) 397-2345, visiting in person at 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver or by sending an email to elections@clark.wa.gov.

To see results from the 2016 General Election, click here. Preliminary, unofficial results will start to post at 8:30 p.m. on Tue., Nov. 8. Official results will be released on Nov. 29.

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