State mails ballots to Walla Walla County

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WALLA WALLA — The ballots are in the mail.

In Walla Walla County, more than 31,000 ballots will be sent out today to voters for the Nov. 5 general election, said Dave Valiant with the county Auditor’s Office.

Statewide, the Washington Secretary of State’s office said more than 3.9 ballots will be mailed to registered voters.

Ballots can be returned by mail or delivered in person to the county Auditor’s Office in the Walla Walla County Courthouse, 315 W. Main St., or to the county Elections Center, 310 W. Poplar St.

Ballots can also be deposited in drop boxes located at the elections center, in the alleyway behind the county courthouse, at Walla Walla Fire Station No. 2 on North Wilbur Avenue, at College Place City Hall, in front of Waitsburg City Hall and at the Burbank School District administrative office in Burbank.

Mailed-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5 or returned to a drop box by 8 p.m. on that day in order to count.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman is forecasting 51 percent voter participation, about average for an off-year election.

“That would be nearly double the August primary turnout of 26 percent, but well below the 81 percent last year for a ballot that included the White House race, governor and three other wide-open statewide elective offices, gay marriage and marijuana legalization, all 10 congressional seats plus most of the Legislature and judicial races,” Wyman said on the Secretary of State’s website today.

Statewide ballot measures include Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically engineered foods and Initiative 517, brought forward by initiative activist Tim Eyman, dealing with the initiative process itself.

Wyman said there will also be five nonbinding tax advisory votes for people to express their support or opposition to revenue measures approved earlier this year by the Legislature.

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