Voters in Franklin and Benton counties should receive their ballots for the Aug. 6 primary this week, if they haven't received them already.
Benton County sent out 87,000 mail-in ballots on Wednesday, while Franklin County sent nearly 27,000 ballots on Tuesday. Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 6, or delivered to a designated drop box -- there are seven in Benton County and four in Franklin County. A drop box in Connell is not open because no elections are on the ballot there.
Benton County auditor Brenda Chilton estimates a voter turnout of around 40 percent, while Franklin County auditor Matt Beaton said he figures around 30 percent will send in ballots.
"It really depends on how energized people are around particular issues," Beaton said.
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Races and issues before Benton City voters will be discussed at a forum at 6 p.m. tonight in the Ki-Be School District boardroom.
A candidate forum is planned for 6 p.m. tonight at Chief Joseph Middle School, 504 Wilson St. in Richland. Among those invited are candidates in the Eighth District State Senate special election, Richland School Board and Richland City Council, West Richland mayor and two Port of Kennewick commissioner races.
Also on the ballot in parts of Benton County are a city council election in Prosser, a Kiona-Benton City School Bard race and a proposal to raise the property tax levy in Fire District 2. In Franklin County, the only primary races are Pasco School Board and Kahlotus City Council elections.
A proposal to use a tenth of a percent sales tax to pay for a regional aquatic center in Pasco is on the ballot across the Tri-Cities.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom