More than half of the registered voters on the North Olympic Peninsula had returned their general election ballots to auditors’ offices by Oct. 22.
As of Tuesday morning (Oct. 27), Clallam County had received 27,507 ballots for a voter turnout of 48 percent while Jefferson County had received 16,187 for a voter turnout of 58.7 percent, according to the Secretary of State website.
Ballots for the presidential election, which has prompted a record early turnout already, must be postmarked or placed in drop boxes by 8 p.m. Nov. 3 to be counted.
Elections officials are now working through verifying signatures.
“Ballots are still coming in at a rapid pace; it takes a while to get them all through the system,” Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs said last week.
Additional staff has been hired to help with signature verification, she said. And staff members are collecting ballots from drop boxes often — twice daily in Sequim and three times daily from the Clallam County Courthouse parking lot in Port Angeles.
Voter registration can only be updated in person at a county election office through 8 p.m. on election night Nov. 3, Grewell said.
U.S. Postal Service representatives are encouraging voters who mail their ballots to do so at least one week (Oct. 27) before Election Day. Those returning their ballots less than a week before Election Day are encouraged to use an official ballot drop box.
Voter turnout statewide was 46.4 percent as of Tuesday, with 2,252,759 ballots reported received.
The early turnout in the presidential election comes after the vote-by-mail state saw its highest primary turnout in more than five decades, with 55 percent of registered voters participating in the August election, leading election officials to prepare for record turnout that could surpass the previous record of 84.6 percent in 2008.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman has said counties should be prepared for a potential turnout of up to 90 percent.
In addition to voting for president and weighing in on 10 congressional races, voters are also deciding on several statewide races, including governor and lieutenant governor, scores of legislative races and a ballot measure on sex education as well as local races and measures.
Voters can check the status of their ballots at VoteWa.gov.
For more information, see clallam.net/elections.