Drop boxes at some sites are being emptied several times a day. The U.S. Postal Service brings more in daily. Ballots continued on Wednesday to flood into county auditors’ offices throughout the state in a general election that has seen more early voting than any in recent memory nationwide.
And the North Olympic Peninsula’s county auditor office staffers couldn’t be happier.
“We like people getting their votes in early,” said Susan Johnson, a member of the election staff in Clallam County. “We can report more on Election Night.”
Incoming ballots are processed and scanned into the tabulation machine — with originals locked away — so that when the polls close, the offices can immediately count the votes.
The more in the system on this coming Tuesday, Election Night, the more statistically accurate the initial numbers.
Jefferson County maintains its lead among other counties in the state with a whopping 71.3 percent voter turnout reported at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The elections office reported 19,684 ballots returned out of the 27,623 provided to voters.
Clallam County posted on Wednesday a 59.3 percent voter turnout, with 34,094 ballots accepted out of 57,496 provided to voters.
Voter turnouts can be found on the Washington Secretary of State website.
The statewide turnout as of Wednesday was 56.7 percent. In the 2016 presidential race six days before Election Day, the voter turnout statewide was 32.3 percent.
Ballots must be placed in a drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday, 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 advised voters to place their ballots in drop boxes.
Jefferson County drop box locations are:
• Port Townsend: Jefferson County courthouse, outside the Auditor’s Office and in the back parking lot.
• Port Hadlock: Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar Ave., outside front entrance.
• Port Ludlow: Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitor Center, 93 Beaver Valley Road, in front of the visitor center building.
• Nordland: Nordland Fire Station, 6633 Flagler Road, outside front entrance.
• Quilcene: Quilcene Community Center, 294952 U.S. Highway 101, outside front entrance.
• Brinnon: Brinnon Community Center, 306144 U.S. Highway 101, outside front entrance.