Elections Office Receiving Complaints About Small Ballots - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Elections Office Receiving Complaints About Small Ballots

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SPOKANE, Wash. - With the Spokane County Primary Election Tuesday, many are complaining about the small size of the ballot sent out to voters.

There are only nine positions with three or more people running for the office, so the primary only includes those nine races. That is why many people only have on box to mark on the ballot they received in the mail.

"There are people who are calling us, writing us, asking why am I getting this ballot with only one race on it, isn't this expensive," said Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton. "Yes, but that's what's required in the state of Washington."

In an email sent to the county, one voter states: "With the budget problems our city, county, and state are in, I think it is total foolishness to spend whatever amount it costs to send out a ballot for one Spokane City Council position. I am on a tight budget. Obviously, our city and county officials aren't."

The elections office says this primary will cost more than $300,000 dollars to do the programming, print the ballots, and send it out in the mail. State law requires that a ballot be sent to every person, whether they voter or not, if there are three or more people running for a position.

The primary narrows down the number of candidates to only two that will appear on the general election ballot. Of the more than 130 offices scheduled for a vote in November, only nine had three candidates or more. Therefore, that is why the ballot is so small.

As of Monday, the elections office had only received less than 17% of the ballots back.

"That is a terribly low figure and we would like to see that increase," Dalton said. "We will probably be lucky if this one clears 25%."

The Spokane County Primary Election is Tuesday. Voters have until 8 p.m. to drop off ballots at the elections office, put it in a city or county library drop box or send it by mail.

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