Slightly over 40 percent of ballots returned in Jefferson County fire district election

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND--The Jefferson County auditor has received 6,003 ballots, or 40.5 percent, of the 14,834 ballots mailed in a special election to renew support for East Jefferson Fire-Rescue.

Votes will be counted April 27.

Of the ballots sent out in the all-mail election, 6,737 were in Port Townsend, while 8,097 were to registered voters in unincorporated areas of the county.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,731, or 40.5 percent, of Port Townsend voters had responded.

In the unincorporated areas, 3,272, or 40.4 percent, were returned.

Eighty-seven of the ballots were undeliverable.

The fire district is asking for support for three measures.

One of the measures will be decided only by voters in the city of Port Townsend, which has fire and emergency services provided by the district through a services contract.

The other two are presented only to those in the fire district who live outside the city limit, including Cape George, Chimacum, Irondale, Kala Point, Marrowstone Island and Port Hadlock.

If approved, increases would be reflected in the 2011 property tax statement.

The Port Townsend measure will ask voters to approve restoring the city's emergency medical service levy rate to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value in the city.

The current rate is 28 cents per $1,000.

Elections Coordinator Karen Cartmel expected a relatively low turnout for the election, predicting that about 55 percent of ballots would be returned by election day.

This contrasts to the highest instance of voter turnout, the presidential election, which in 2008 drew 92.06 percent of the ballots,

Ballot tallies will be posted on the Jefferson County elections Web site at a few minutes after 8 p.m. on the day of the election.

Cartmel said the office would attempt to count all the ballots received by mail that day.

The second posting of the votes will be on April 30, and the third, if necessary, will occur on May 5.

For questions about ballots, phone the Jefferson County Auditor's Office at 360-385-9117.


Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: April 20. 2010 10:57PM
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