Thurston County’s primary election is Aug. 1.
As of Thursday, 6,326 people, or 6 percent registered voters eligible for the election, had turned in their ballots, according to the Auditor’s Office.
The Olympian asked Chief Deputy Auditor Diana Benson some questions about the election. Here are excerpts of the conversation.
Q: I live in Thurston County, but didn’t get a primary election ballot. What happened?
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A: We currently have five districts that are in the election for the primary: the cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater and the Olympia and Tumwater school districts.
If you’re not in the election area, you won’t receive a ballot for the primary. There are 105,305 registered voters eligible to participate in this election.
Q: I’m seeing campaign signs up for the Port of Olympia races. Why aren’t the candidates part of the voters’ pamphlet or on the ballot?
A: That is one of the most common questions we receive. Nonpartisan races require three or more candidates to be in the primary. All candidates in races with two or less candidates automatically move on to the general election.
Q: I haven’t registered to vote yet. Is there still time to do that and vote in the primary election?
People can come to our office (2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building One, Room 118) up to eight days before an election and register to vote.
That means they have until 4:30 p.m. Monday to register in person.
Q: Is there anything new or different about this election?
A: We have a new ballot box that just opened in the city of Olympia, at city hall.
It’s our 27th ballot box. We have 19 of our ballot boxes open for this election, in the districts that have races in the primary.
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Q: This is a primary election. Does it really matter if I participate in it?
A: People elected in these local races, the local offices, make important decisions that affect our everyday lives.
Also, the person who receives the most votes in the primary receives top position on the general election ballot.
Q: How late can I wait to vote, and what are my options?
A: You can drop a ballot off at one of the ballot boxes, or at the Auditor’s Office, up to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
For a list of open ballot drop boxes, go to thurstonvotes.org.