Still need to vote in the primary election? Find ballot drop boxes near you.

Election ballot
Credit: Emily Goodell, KAPP-KVEW

Elections staff in several counties in Southeast Washington report the number of early ballot returns is consistent with previous primary elections, but remain hopeful for better voter turnout.

Rosa Cano, bilingual elections program coordinator for Franklin County, said the majority of registered voters tend to overlook primaries and take a greater interest in the November general elections.

“That election does determine the winner and so that could be one of the main reasons it does get more attention than the August primary,” Cano said.

Early ballot returns show that trend is continuing, with:

For the 2021 primary election, Yakima County had the lowest voter turnout at 21.49%, with Franklin County at a close second at 21.78%.

Martha Jimenez, elections division bilingual program analyst with Yakima County, said for people who want more choices for their candidates, the primary election is especially important.

“If there’s a candidate that a voter has a preference for, the only way that they’re gonna move on to that November general ballot is if they participate in the primary,” Jimenez said.

Elections staff said anyone overwhelmed by the number of choices on the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary can go to votewa.gov to see candidate profiles, get a replacement ballot or track their ballot once it’s been sent off.

People who haven’t voted yet can still send in their ballot by mail, as long as long as it’s postmarked Monday or Tuesday at the latest, but there’s a chance ballots sent in the mail too late on Tuesday won’t be counted.

That’s why both Jimenez and Cano suggest heading to the nearest ballot drop box before 8 p.m. tomorrow instead, to make sure your vote gets counted.

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