Voter turnout, registrations continue to set records in Clark County

More than 36 percent of registered voters have already registered their vote

CLARK COUNTY — Ballots continue to pour into ballot boxes across Clark County at a record-setting pace.

By Friday morning, Clark County Elections workers had collected 111,325 ballots, including 37,289 on Tuesday alone; the highest non-election day total on record.

A new ballot drop box at the C-TRAN bus depot in Hazel Dell. Photo by Mike Schultz
A new ballot drop box at the C-TRAN bus depot in Hazel Dell. Photo by Mike Schultz

For comparison, the highest voter turnout for a presidential election in recent history was 85.31 percent during the 2008 election. During that year, 44,444 ballots had been returned within the first six days.

This year, 34.65 percent of the county’s 321,268 registered voters have already turned in a ballot with 11 days remaining until the Nov. 3 general election.

Another trend also continues to be a much larger percentage of people using the drop boxes around the county, and avoiding the mail.

Typically, around 25 percent of ballots returned ahead of election day are recovered from a drop box. This year, that number currently sits at just over 60 percent, said Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey.

It’s worth noting that the number of drop boxes has increased sharply since the last presidential election. In 2016, there were just five boxes around the county. After recent additions, there are 22 locations for this election.

All of that may be good news for the county’s budget, noted Kimsey. Since last year, the county has been funding postage paid envelopes to eliminate the need for a stamp, but they only pay if someone mails it. So every ballot returned through a drop box currently saves the county 55 cents, the cost of a first class stamp.

That means the 66,271 ballots put in a drop box have saved the county, so far, a total of $36,449.

As for which drop box locations are seeing the most traffic, downtown Vancouver has collected 14,214 ballots, with the Fisher’s Landing C-TRAN box a distant second at 7,625, followed by the Vancouver Mall C-TRAN box at 6,408. 

Another shocking statistic is the rate in growth for voter registrations in Clark County.

Vote return numbers as of Fri., Oct. 23. Image courtesy Clark County Elections Division
Vote return numbers as of Fri., Oct. 23. Image courtesy Clark County Elections Division

Just since the August primary election there have been nearly 17,486 new voter registrations for Clark County, and a total of nearly 34,000 new registrations since the beginning of the year.

“Huge numbers,” said Kimsey on Friday. “I think we have a backlog of about 1,200 registrations that we need to process today.”

Since 2008, there have been nearly 105,000 more people registered to vote in Clark County, including an increase of almost 50,000 since 2016, nearly doubling the rate of overall population growth in the county.

Some of that may have to do with the state’s online voter registration system, and same-day registration that took effect in 2019, which allows people to register and vote on the same day up until 8 p.m. on election night.

Monday is the final day people can register to vote online, Kimsey noted. After that, they need to come to the county elections office if they want to register and receive a ballot before the deadline on Nov. 3.

Also, ballots should have been received by voters by Wed., Oct. 21. Thus far, the county has registered 736 ballots returned to them undeliverable. If you haven’t received your ballot, you’re asked to contact the county elections office at (564) 397-2345 to request a replacement.

You can track the status of your ballot online at this link, and view daily ballot returns here.

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