Voter turnout skyrocketing in Benton, Franklin counties compared to same time in 2016

TRI-CITIES, Wash. – We are on track to reach historic levels of voter turnout this election both nationally and locally.

“This was actually the first time that I’ve ever voted. Realizing how important even one or two votes can be to decide a certain position – that’s why it was really important for me to vote,” said Daniel Snyder of Benton County.

Already, approximately 30% of Benton County voters and 23% of Franklin County voters have turned their ballots in – which is more than double compared to the same time before the 2016 election. So why is voter turnout skyrocketing?

“We’re on track for a historic turnout – in Franklin County for certain,” said Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton, “I think with the health challenge that is the coronavirus, and the way different governments reacted at the federal, state and even local level – it appears to me that the government has never been so involved in voters’ lives, and they want to have something to say about it.”

“Just seeing the turmoil, just seeing all the things that are going on – if it takes one vote to make a decision about one candidate that might turn this country around,” said Snyder.

“Without this election we’re all in trouble. The country is basically on a downhill slide and it’s going to take the voters to bring it back,” said Benton County voter Kenneth Malbeck.

With the sharp increase in voter turnout, processing time for results could take longer. That’s why election officials recommend getting your ballot in as soon as you can.

“Processing through the US Postal system takes time. We do encourage, especially if you’re mailing your ballot, we want you to do that at least a week before Election Day,” said Benton County Auditor Brenda Chilton, “The earlier you get your ballot in the earlier we’re going to be able to process that ballot.”

You can still register to vote online at www.votewa.gov or through the mail until Monday, October 26. After that, you will have to register in person.