Island County ballots are in the mail

Voters will again have a chance to participate in the process.

The Island County Auditor’s Office next week will mail out just a bit more than 50,000 ballots next week for the Nov. 5 general election.

Island County Deputy Auditor Michele Reagan said the ballots should be mailed on Oct. 16, but the statute allows for the ballots to be mailed out by Oct. 18.

“We’re going to beat that by a couple of days,” Reagan said, noting that ballots for registered voters living overseas or are in the military went to the mailbox Sept. 18.

Even though ballots need to be postmarked by Nov. 5, the majority of the ballots received typically come in during the days leading up to the election deadline.

Reagan said staff sees the largest number of ballots the day before, election day and the day after the deadline. Of the nearly 43,000 votes cast during the 2012 general election, nearly 14,000 ballots were received on those three days.

Even though the 2013 election lacks any national races, there are plenty of seats up for election that effect Whidbey Island government.

Contested seats on the ballot include four positions on the Oak Harbor City Council, a position on the Oak Harbor School Board and a seat on the Port of Coupeville board.

Voters will also consider a $50 million bond measure that would fund and expansion and modernization of Whidbey General Hospital. That measure has to pass by a 60 percent supermajority.

A number of town, hospital and school board seats are also on the ballot, but each candidate in those races is running unopposed.

Ballots have to be postmarked by Nov. 5 in order to be counted. People can also drop off ballots at several dropboxes located throughout the county; those locations include the Oak Harbor City Hall and the Island County Auditor’s election office on North Main Street in Coupeville.

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