Ballots sent out on North Olympic Peninsula

Midterm election voting now underway

Over 80,000 ballots were sent to registered voters on the North Olympic Peninsula today as voting in the midterm elections gets underway.

The Clallam County Auditor’s Office said more than 57,000 ballots were to be mailed to registered voters, while more than 26,000 ballots are to be sent to Jefferson County voters, according to Election Coordinator Quinn Grewell.

The ballots won’t be counted until Election Day, but voters can fill out their ballots and return them to the county any time between the time they get them and Nov. 8. All ballots must be postmarked or delivered to an official dropbox by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

All voters in the state will cast ballots in contests for the Washington Secretary of State and U.S. Senator as well as three unopposed positions on the state Supreme Court.

In addition to the elected officials, two advisory votes will be on the ballot asking Washington voters whether two recent tax increases enacted by the state Legislature should be repealed or maintained.

Clallam and Jefferson counties share several candidates for the general election: contests for the U.S. House of Representatives and two representatives for Legislative District 24 and an appellate court judge who’s running unopposed.

There are 21 items on Clallam County’s ballot this year, 20 in Jefferson County, with votes for both partisan and nonpartisan offices. Partisan elections include positions like U.S. Senator and state representative while judicial officials are nonpartisan offices.

Clallam County voters will elect an auditor, an assessor, a county commissioner, a public utility district commissioner, prosecuting attorney, a treasurer and county sheriff. The auditor, assessor, treasurer and attorney positions are running unopposed.

Jefferson County voters will vote for those same positions in their county in addition to the County Clerk. Jefferson County’s auditor, assessor, treasurer, prosecuting attorney and clerk are all running unopposed.

Voters in Jefferson County will vote on Proposition 1 — a vote to merge two fire districts — and Clallam County has the distinction of being the only county in the country that votes for its Director of Community Development position.

Ballots can be returned by mail — postage is pre-paid — or returned in person to official drop boxes stationed throughout the region.

In Clallam County, drop boxes can be found in Carlsborg, Clallam Bay, Forks, Neah Bay, Port Angeles, Seiku and Sequim.

In Jefferson County, drop boxes are located in Brinnon, Nordland, Quilcene, Port Hadlock, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, the Hoh Indian Nation in Forks and the Quinault Indian Nation in Queets.

Election officials have emphasized that local elections are safe and secure, and in Jefferson County, ballot processing is live-streamed for the public.

Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs — who is running unopposed — has said the Secretary of State’s office works with the Washington Air National guard on election cybersecurity and all 39 of the state’s counties are members of the private election security center, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center.

Voter registration is open until 8 p.m. on Election Day, but after Oct. 31, online registrations will no longer be accepted. Those looking to register must do so in person at a county auditor’s office.

Since 2018, Washington has allowed same-day registration on Election Day at voting centers and elections offices. Same-day registrations must be made in person by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Anyone needing a replacement ballot should contact the auditor’s office in the county where the person lives.

The Peninsula Daily News will provide a Voter Guide on local contests for the Nov. 8 election in Saturday’s paper. It will be the C section of both the Clallam and Jefferson county editions.

More information also is available at votewa.gov.

To reach the Clallam County Auditor’s Office, call 360-417-2221 or 360-417-2217; email elections@co.clallam.wa.us; or go to clallam.net/Auditor/Elections.

To reach the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office, call 360-385-9117 or 360-385-9119; email elections@co.jefferson.wa.us; or go to co.jefferson.wa.us/1266/Elections.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com

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