Today is the final day in a presidential election that has broken early-voting records and raised anxieties across the nation.
Ballots are due by 8 p.m. tonight, either postmarked by that time or placed in drop boxes. U.S. Postal Service representatives had asked voters mailing ballots to do so 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.
In-person registration to vote in this election is open until 8 tonight.
The Peninsula Daily News will post Election Night results on peninsuladailynews.com and will report initial returns in the Wednesday edition. The PDN deadline does not permit more for Wednesday’s edition, but Thursday’s paper will have more information about local and regional races.
The top race on the ballot is the contest between President Donald Trump, Republican, and former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrat. The two offer a study in contrasts in a contest that most feel is a watershed election.
About 7 in 10 voters say they are anxious about the election, according to an AP-NORC poll last month.
Biden supporters were more likely than Trump voters to be nervous — 72 percent to 61 percent. They point to Trump refusing to promise a peaceful transfer of power and telling a far-right group to “stand back and stand by.”
Trump’s supporters, too, said they feel a sense of dread, according to The Associated Press.
The president has warned them that, if he loses, the country would lurch toward socialism, crime would consume the streets, and freedom would buckle under political correctness.
And overall, gun sales are through the roof across the nation.
U.S. Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, predicts more than 150 million votes will be cast in this election.
Clallam is one of 19 counties nationwide since 1980 to have voted for the person who became president, according to The Wall Street Journal. There are 3,141 counties and county-equivalents in the U.S., according to usgs.gov.
Like elsewhere in the state and nation, elections offices in both Clallam and Jefferson counties are reporting huge voter turnout.
After 5 p.m. Monday, the Washington Secretary of State website posted 76.5 percent turnout in Clallam County, with 44,069 ballots returned out of 57,594 provided voters. Jefferson County hit a 82.7 percent turnout — the highest in the state — with 22,862 ballots returned out of 27,659 provided voters.
Regional contests on ballots in both Clallam and Jefferson counties are all three seats in the 24th Legislative District as well as the 6th Congressional District.
Local races in Clallam County are for Superior Court judge and a Clallam County Public Utility District commission seat. Also on the ballot are six proposed Clallam County Charter amendments and a Port Angeles School District levy.
The local race on the Jefferson County ballot is for a seat on the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners.
Statewide races on the ballot are for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, commissioner of public lands, superintendent of public instruction, insurance commissioner and state Supreme Court positions.
Several state measures are on the ballot, including the controversial Referendum 90 concerning sex education in schools.
Clallam County drop boxes can be found at the following locations:
• Port Angeles: Two outside the county courthouse, one a drive-through receptacle in front of the main entrance, the other a disabled-accessible drop box just east of the main entrance. One also will be in front of the auditor’s office in the courthouse.
• Sequim: Sequim Village Shopping Center parking lot at the J.C. Penney store, 651 W. Washington St., outside front entrance.
• Forks: Forks City Hall, 500 E. Division St., outside front entrance.
• Carlsborg: Sunny Farms Country Store, 261461 U.S. Highway 101 on the east side of parking lot.
• Clallam Bay: Clallam Bay Library, 16990 state Highway 112, outside front entrance.
• Sekiu: Clallam County Public Utility District, 15 Sekiu Airport Road, outside front entrance.
• Neah Bay: Washburn’s General Store, 1450 Bayview Ave., outside front entrance.
Jefferson County drop boxes can be found at the following locations:
• 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.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at [email protected].