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The original item was published from 11/2/2022 5:45:44 PM to 11/7/2022 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: November 2, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Spokane County Elections Office Encourages Early Voting

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – Spokane County Elections officials are encouraging voters to make their vote count by returning ballots as early as possible.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton cited four main reasons for voting by Saturday, November 5, or earlier if possible:

  1. To ensure votes are included in Election Night results. Ballots returned or received on Election Day in Washington typically are counted during the next several days. That means Election Night results consist of only a portion of the ballots that will ultimately be counted. In some races and issues, results can change in the days after election day as these last-minute votes are processed.
  2. To avoid possible snow on Election Day. The National Weather Service is forecasting possible snow for Election Day. Weather changes rapidly, so voters are encouraged to return their ballot while it’s nice outside to avoid having to drive in the snow on Election Day to the post office or a county drop box location.
  3. To save taxpayer money. Mailing a ballot doesn’t require a stamp but dropping a signed ballot off early at one of the county’s 25 secure drop box locations is even cheaper. Mailed ballots cost the County about 65 cents each in postage, said Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin. If 200,000 voters in Spokane County use drop boxes instead of mail, the county taxpayers would save $130,000 in postage.
  4. To ensure votes will be counted. Mailed ballots postmarked after November 8 (Election Day) cannot be counted by law, Dalton said. Post office mailboxes can close as early as 3 p.m., so waiting too long to mail ballots could invalidate a vote.

 “If you mail back your ballot over the weekend,” Dalton said, “the postmark will be well before Election Day.”

“Voter participation typically jumps during the mid-term elections, so it’s smart to give your ballot a few extra days to make it to the county elections office,” Dalton said.  

Spokane County mailed ballots to 359,378 registered voters on October 19-21, providing up to 20 days for voters to return their signed ballot. As of November 1, more than 91,069 ballots, or 25.3 percent of all ballots, had been returned.

Voters can check the status of their ballot online at The website shows when ballots are received and if the voter’s signature was accepted or challenged. The site also provides a customized guide to the races and candidates on the voter’s ballot and a list of all Spokane County drop box locations.

Although Washington state ended vote-in-person locations years ago, Spokane County provides two Voter Service Centers to help voters close to Election Day with unique issues, such as voter registration or to replace a lost ballot or envelope:


Spokane County Elections
1033 W. Gardner Ave.
 Saturday, November 5, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
 Monday, November 7, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
 Tuesday, November 8, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
2426 N. Discovery Place., Spokane Valley
 Monday, November 7, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
 Tuesday, November 8, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

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