Still haven’t voted in Thurston County’s Aug. 4 primary election?
You’re not alone.
As of Friday, only 12.4 percent of registered voters, or 14,448 people, had returned their ballots, according to elections manager Tillie Naputi-Pullar.
“We are hoping that this weekend voters will have time to vote and return their envelopes to one of our 25 ballot drop boxes located throughout the county or place them in a blue mailbox,” Naputi-Pullar said.
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Past odd-year election statistics show that about 1 out of every 4 voters typically participates in Thurston County primary elections. There was an exception in 2009, when 30.8 percent of voters turned out for the primary, according to the county.
Presidential election years, on the other hand, usually draw closer to 50 percent voter turnout.
“Voting for president and congress is important, but it’s the local elections in our port, school boards, city councils and other local jurisdictions that will have daily, direct impact on each voter in Thurston County,” said Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall.
As of Friday, here are the percentages of ballots that were returned by district:
Thurston County overall: 12.4.
City of Olympia: 13.3.
City of Tenino: 24.4.
City of Yelm: 10.2.
Port Commissioner District No. 1: 12.8.
Port Commissioner District No. 3: 12.1.
Centralia School District No. 401: 18.1.
Black Lake Fire Protection District: 15.0.
McLane Fire Protection District: 16.7.
Hall also urged voters to refrain from writing the names of fictional characters on their ballots.
“Voters who don’t wish to vote on any candidate in a race should simply leave it blank — all other votes will count,” she said. “Processing fictitious ballot write-ins costs taxpayers’ money.”
Not all voters in the county were sent ballots; those who live in the city of Lacey and its surrounding unincorporated area, which is Port of Olympia Commissioner No. 2, are not participating in the primary, Hall said. However, all voters will have a chance to participate in the General Election, she added.
For more information on the primary election candidates and issues, or where to find a ballot drop box, go to thurstonvotes.org.