Clallam County has one county contest on Tuesday’s primary ballot.
Four candidates are vying for the Clallam County Department of Community Development director position to which Mary Ellen Winborn had been elected before moving to Mississippi. She is not running for re-election and has been temporarily restrained by court order from performing the duties of the office.
Voters also have contests for state representative positions 1 and 2 in Legislative District 24, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County; the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula; the race for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s seat and the Secretary of State seat.
The top-two primary will narrow the field of candidates for each position to two for the Nov. 8 general election.
A race for the Clallam County commissioner District 3 seat between incumbent Bill Peach of Forks, a Republican, and Mike French, a Democrat who is serving on the Port Angeles City Council, also will be on the ballot, but the vote will have no impact on the general election lineup. Both candidates will also be on the Nov. 8 ballot.
By Friday in Clallam County, 14,820 ballots had been returned out of 57,254 ballots given registered voters, for a voter turnout of 25.88 percent. Of those, 14,452 ballots had been accepted as of Friday, for a percentage of 25.24.
There were 174 ballots challenged. Voters who provided ballots questioned due to lack of signatures or other problems are contacted to allow them to fix the problems before certification on Aug. 16.
Jefferson County had 29.33 percent voter turnout by Friday with 8,039 ballots returned out of 27,409 ballots given registered voters. Of those, 7,923 ballots had been accepted, for a percentage of 28.91. There were 116 ballots challenged.
Ballots were mailed on July 13. Voters must return them in time to be postmarked for Tuesday or deliver them to drop boxes by 8 p.m. Tuesday to have them counted in the primary election.
Clallam County voters have the unique opportunity to vote for the nonpartisan position of Director of the Department of Community Development in a four-way race among Bruce Emery, Cherie Kidd, Jesse Major and Kevin Russell.
Clallam is the only county in the nation to have an elected DCD director, and Peninsula Daily News reported in May all four candidates agreed the position should ideally be appointed, even as they urged voters to elect them.
Voters in Clallam and Jefferson counties — and some of the residents in Grays Harbor County — will vote in two primary contests for District 24 of the state Legislature.
Rep. Mike Chapman, a Port Angeles Democrat, is challenged by Republicans Sue Forde of Sequim and Matthew Rainwater of Port Angeles for Position 1.
Rep. Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend, also a Democrat, is challenged by Republican Brian Pruiett of Carlsborg and Democrat Darren Corcoran of Elma.
Clallam and Jefferson County voters will vote for the 6th Congressional District representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, a seat currently held by Democrat Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor, a Port Angeles native.
Kilmer is facing Republican challengers Chris Binns, Todd Bloom and Elizabeth Kreiselmaier as well as Democrat Rebecca Parsons and Independent Tom Triggs.
Statewide elections contests on the ballot are a six-year term for U.S. Senator — a position currently held by Democrat Patty Murray, who’s held the seat since 1993 — and a two-year term for Washington Secretary of State, currently held by Democrat Steve Hobbs.
There are 18 primary candidates for U.S. Senator, Murray included, and eight for Secretary of State to replace former Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who resigned to assist election security at the federal level.
Candidates in Washington can declare a preferred political party, but that does not imply those candidates have in any way been endorsed or supported by those parties.
For the U.S. Senate, there are six Democratic candidates — Murray, Mohammed Hassan Said, Dr. Pano Churchill, Sam Cusmir, Bryan Solstin and Ravin Pierre — and three Republicans — John Guenther, Tiffany Smiley and Bill Hirt. Candidate Dave Saulibio listed his party preference as JFK Republican Party and Leon Lawson listed his as Trump Republican Party.
Four candidates have listed themselves as Independent Party; Jon Butler, Thor Amundson, Charlie Jackson and Naz Paul, and Dan Phan Doan and Martin D. Hash have stated no party preference and candidate Henry Clay Dennison listed the Socialist Workers Party.
In the race for Secretary of State are two Democrats — appointee Steve Hobbs, who is now filling the role, and Marquez Tiggs — and three Republicans — Bob Hagglund, Keith L. Wagoner and Mark Miloscia, as well as Kurtis Engle, Union Party; Tamborine Borrelli, America First (R) Party, and nonpartisan party Julie Anderson.
Ballot drop boxes are available at the following locations:
• Port Angeles: 223 E. Fourth St. Three drop boxes are available; one in the circular courthouse drive; another across from the disabled parking spaces and a third inside the Elections and Voter Registration Office.
• Carlsborg: 261461 U.S. Highway 101, near Sunny Farms adjacent to Mill Road.
• Clallam Bay: 16990 U.S. Highway 101, in front of the Clallam Bay Branch Library.
• Forks: 500 E. Division St., outside Forks City Hall.
• Neah Bay: 1450 Bayview Ave., in front of Washburn’s General Store
• Sekiu: 15 Sekiu Airport Road, at the Public Utility District building in the drive-up lane.
• Sequim: 651 W. Washington St., in the parking lot.
Election processing will begin shortly after polls close Tuesday and can be observed via live stream on YouTube, reached through the Auditor’s Office website at http://clallam.net/Auditor/Elections.html.
No tabulation equipment is connected to the internet or capable of wireless communication and state law requires security measures be used to detect any inappropriate access to the physical security of the system, according to the state Office of the Secretary of State.
Before use, tabulation systems in Washington state are tested at a federally approved independent testing lab at the state level and reviewed by county voting systems certification boards. Each county conducts logic and accuracy testing prior to every election.
After the initial count of ballots in the all-mail election on Tuesday, subsequent daily results will be posted shortly after 4:30 p.m.
Voter registration will be accepted in person at the county auditor’s office at the Clallam County Courthouse at 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Those who have not received ballots, or who need other information, can go to the Auditor’s Office, check the website, email [email protected] or call the elections manager at 360-417-2217.
Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at [email protected]
Executive Editor Leah Leach contributed to this story.