Procrastinator’s guide to Tuesday’s Mid-Columbia elections

Has your vote been counted? Here’s how to check in Washington state

Washington is one of three states that send ballots in the mail to all registered voters. Here is how you can check if your vote has been counted.
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Washington is one of three states that send ballots in the mail to all registered voters. Here is how you can check if your vote has been counted.

Friday is the last day for Mid-Columbia voters to safely mail ballots to ensure they count in Tuesday’s general election.

Washington is a vote-by-mail state. Ballots must be returned or postmarked by Nov. 6 to be included.

The U.S. Postal Service processes Tri-City ballots through Spokane. Local auditors advise voters to mail ballots by Friday to ensure they get the proper postmark.

Voters may also request their ballot be postmarked by a clerk at their local post office. No postage is required in Washington.

Oregon’s similar voting system can lead to confusion among voters who have lived on both sides of the state line.

Like Washington, the Beaver State conducts elections by mail. Unlike Washington, Oregon ballots must be returned by election day, not merely postmarked by then.

Mid-Columbia voters who haven’t yet mailed their ballots still have options to ensure their votes count.

As of Friday, 34.8 percent of Washington’s 4.3 million registered voters had sent in their ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

In Benton County, 32 percent of the 109,808 registered voters had returned their ballots. In Franklin County, 31.2 percent of the 34,518 registered voters had sent them

In the 2014 midterm, turnout was 55 percent for Benton County and 50.7 percent for Franklin County.

Here’s a list of the races and links to stories or other coverage:

U.S. Senate

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., debates Republican challenger Susan Hutchison at Pacific Lutheran University.

4th Congressional District, U.S. House

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, is being challenged by Christine Brown, a Kennewick Democrat.

Legislative District 8

Senate: Sen Sharon Raye Brown, a Kennewick Republican, is being challenged by Leo Perales, a Kennewick Democrat..

House Position 1: Rep. Brad Klippert, a Kennewick Republican, is being challenged by Shir Regev, a Richland Democrat

House Position 2: Kennewick City Councilman Matt Boehnke, a Republican, is running against Christoper Tracy, a Richland Democrat, to succeed Larry Haler, who is retiring.

Legislative District 9

House Position 1: Rep. Mary Dye, a Pomeroy Republican, is being challenged by Jenn Goulet, a Pasco Democrat.

House Position 2: Rep. Joe Schmick, a Colfax Republican, is being challenged by Matthew Sutherland, a Pullman Democrat.

Legislative District 16

House Position 1: Rep. Bill Jenkin, a Prosser Republican, is being challenged by Everett Maroon, a Walla Walla Democrat.

House Position 2: Rebecca Francik, a Pasco Democrat, is running against Skyler Rude, a Walla Walla Republican, to succeed Rep. Terry Nealey, who is retiring.

Benton County

Commission District 2: Commissioner Shon Small is being challenged by Benton PUD Commissioner Lori Sanders. Both are Republicans.

Coroner: Republicans Bill Leach and Jamie Raebel are competing to succeed John Hansens, who is retiring.

Uncontested: Auditor Brenda Chilton, Republican; Clerk Josie Delvin, Republican; Prosecutor Andy Miller, Democrat; Sheriff Jerry Hatcher, Republican; and Treasurer Ken Spencer all are running unopposed for re-election.

Franklin County

Commission District 3: Republican Clint Didier is running against Democrat Zarah Roach after the two defeated incumbent Rick Miller in the September primary.

Auditor: Incumbent Matt Beaton, a Republican, is being challenged by Diana Izaguirre, a Democrat who qualified for the ballot after earning more than 1 percent as a write-in candidate in the August primary.

Clerk: Incumbent Michael Killian is being challenged by Jacqueline Lopez Giddens. Both are Republicans.

Coroner: Incumbent Dan Blasdel is being challenged by Curtis McGary. Both are Republicans.

Uncontested: Prosecutor Shawn Sant, Republican; Sheriff Jim Raymond, Republican; and Treasurer Josie Koelzer, Republican, are running unopposed for re-election.

Peter McEnderfer, a Republican, is running unopposed to succeed Assessor Steve Marks, who is not seeking re-election.

Ballot Initiatives

Initiative Measure No. 1631: Would charge a fee on carbon emitters (polluters) to fund green initiatives.

Initiative Measure No. 1634: Would prohibit local government from increasing taxes on certain grocery items.

Initiative Measure 1639: Restricts semiautomatic rifle sales.

Initiative Measure No. 940: Concerns deadly use of force by law enforcement.

Voters Guide

Learn more about the candidates and initiatives from the information they submit to the official Voters’ Pamphlets, which are produced by counties and mailed to voters. Copies are posted online.

Benton County: bentonauditor.com/Voters-Guide-List

Franklin County: bit.ly.com/FranklinVotersGuide

Walla Walla County: bit.ly/WallaWallaVotersGuide

Drop Box Locations

Ballots can be turned in at official drop boxes through 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Benton County

  • Benton County Courthouse, 620 Market St., Prosser

  • Kennewick annex, 5600 W. Canal Drive

  • Richland annex, 101 Wellsian Way

  • Kennewick City Hall, 210 W. Sixth Ave.

  • West Richland Municipal Service Facilities, 3100 Belmont Blvd.

  • Benton City City Hall, 708 Ninth St.

  • WSU Tri-Cities, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland

  • Jefferson Park, 176 Symons St., Richland

Franklin County

  • Franklin County Courthouse (parking lot 24 hours, auditor’s office business hours), 1016 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco

  • Fire Protection District No. 3, 2108 Road 84, Pasco

  • Election Center, 116 N. Third Ave., Pasco

  • TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd.

  • Connell PUD Shop, 619 W. Clark St., Connell

Western Walla Walla County

  • Columbia Elementary School, 977 Maple St.

  • Waitsburg City Hall, 147 Main St.

Ballot status

Voters can check the status of their ballots by visiting MyVote (weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/myvote/) and clicking on “Ballot Status” after entering basic identifying information.

Election night

Preliminary election results will be published at www.tricityherald.com after 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Brandi Orth is the Fresno County Clerk of Registrar Voters. What she says can be helpful to Washington, which is also a mail-in ballot state. She says she's in the business of counting ballots and answers these questions: How many stamps do you ne