Clallam County election workers Ame Cochnauer, right, and Thomas Newton did their second of at least three ballot pickups Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, from two drop boxes outside the Clallam County Courthouse that hold a combined 1,200 ballots. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County election workers Ame Cochnauer, right, and Thomas Newton did their second of at least three ballot pickups Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, from two drop boxes outside the Clallam County Courthouse that hold a combined 1,200 ballots. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)

Ballots flooding Peninsula elections offices

Early voting records shattered across nation

North Olympic Peninsula counties posted high voter turnouts a week before Election Day as early voting records are shattered across the nation.

Clallam County posted on Tuesday a 56.8 percent voter turnout, with 32,620 ballots accepted out of 57,471 provided to voters.

Jefferson County posted the highest in the state on Tuesday — a 67.75 percent voter turnout so far, with 18,702 accepted of 27,617 provided voters.

Voter turnouts can be found on the Washington Secretary of State website.

The statewide turnout as of Tuesday was 46.4 percent. In the 2016 presidential race seven days before Election Day, the voter turnout statewide was 28.5 percent.

The number of ballots accepted differs from the number of ballots that have been received but for which processing has not yet begun.

Barb Ferguson, left, and Brenda Huntingford, both employees with the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office, transfer trays of ballots to a room for opening and hands-on review after their signatures were checked against a state database Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend. (Nicholas Johnson/Peninsula Daily News)

Barb Ferguson, left, and Brenda Huntingford, both employees with the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office, transfer trays of ballots to a room for opening and hands-on review after their signatures were checked against a state database Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend. (Nicholas Johnson/Peninsula Daily News)

Both counties had received more ballots than they had begun to process. Clallam County election officials were not available for comment on Tuesday.

After collecting ballots from drop boxes countywide Monday, election officials spent Tuesday checking each signature against a statewide database before opening the ballots to look for potential marking issues.

Teams of volunteer ballot processors are set to lend a hand as the process continues.

Ballots must be placed in a drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, or postmarked by that date if sent by mail.

U.S. Postal Service representatives had encouraged voters to mail their ballots at least one week before Election Day to ensure they get postmarked in time; otherwise, they advise voters to place their ballots in drop boxes.

Jefferson County Election Coordinator Quinn Grewell reiterated that Tuesday.

“If they put their ballot in their mail box, it can take a day or so before it gets postmarked depending on when their mail carrier picks it up,” she said.

“I know it’s more convenient for many people than getting to a drop box. I just really wouldn’t want anyone to do that on Election Day, in particular, because it likely wouldn’t get picked up until the next day.”

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