2017 Whitman county elections

These documents were obtained in coverage of Whitman county elections. For a period of time, it was uncertain as to whether bills could be passed based on voter turnout.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://dailyevergreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/60-40-From-Dims-1.pdf” title=”60 40 From Dims (1)”]


The following is an emailed statement from Eunice Coker, Whitman county auditor, sent out to local journalists concerning the election and ballot counts:

From: Eunice Coker
Date: Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: Whitman County elections communications

“Thank you Commissioner Swannack for cc’ing me in to this message.

“I will  attempt to compile all of the information, answer all questions and put this subject to rest.

“Attached is the report from our voter registration system showing the turnout results for the 2016 General election.  Pullman is about ¾ down in the pdf.  These pages do not reflect all precincts as the reason for creating this document is to show Grand Totals for each jurisdiction on the November elections.  I had not provided this earlier, as I myself had questions regarding the lines “AV Issued” and “AV voted” and was waiting for clarification from our vendor, DIMS, and the Sec of State. I have learned this week that those lines pertain to the numbers listed above under “Reg Voters, Voted, and Non Voted” plus ballots that were requested and voted by individuals who thought they should be able to vote in Whitman County elections, but indeed were rejected for not being eligible to vote in Whitman County.  An example would be a voter who requested and voted a provisional ballot, but was found to be either not registered, or registered in another jurisdiction. The total number of registered voters in Pullman at the time of the 2016 General Election cycle was 12,322.  Of those 9,635 chose to vote and 2,657 chose not to vote. 40% of the turnout equals 3,854.

“I was initially under the impression that  the yes votes for 2017 issues must exceed 60% of the 40%, as shows on this pdf.  However after checking with my staff and the OSOS (Sec of State) I was realized that this calculation applies to certain school levy exceptions to the rule.  That in fact, “except for school excess levies, all excess tax levies must meet validation requirements and receive at least 60% approval to pass”.  https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/16-01-Bonds-and-Levies.pdf .  This means that for the 2017 Pullman Bond Issues to pass, Individually each Bond Issue must meet the 40% turnout of 3,854, and in the current 2017 election each individual Bond Issue must have 60% or more yes votes than no votes. The County Auditor Elections Division supplies the total turn out number  from 2016, and the City of Pullman determines if they have reached the 40% and 60% requirements for passage.

“Please keep in mind that of the estimated 100 ballots left to count, they will have come in from all over the county.  Also remember that on the 27th the Canvass Board will meet to determine the status of many ballots that have come in too late, with signatures that don’t match, that have no signature at all, that voter intent was not clear, etc. We have sent two letters and toward the deadline made phone calls to those ballot issues that could be resolved.  Voters with mismatched signatures, or missing a signature  that have cured the issue have had their ballots processed and will be included in the final tally.  Those ballots where the voter has chosen not to cure their issue will go before the Canvass Board for acceptance or rejection.  Until this process is completely finished, and we have submitted our final reports to the Sec of State, there will be no official totals.  At that time, the entities with issues on the ballot will be able to determine what passed and what failed.

“Answers to random questions:

  • “The Whitman County Canvassing Board consists of the Auditor, Prosecutor, and current Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/Introduction-to-County-Canvassing-Boards.pdf
  • “I believe the Supervisor of Elections has provided or is working on providing the current copy of all  precinct reports for the current election.  The final report will be available for a short time frame after certification on November 28th.  We do not have the full report from 2016, as it is not required to be retained. What we have are the totals pages as shown in the attachment.
  • “At some point Adam ask how we calculate the voter turnout for an election.  We do not calculate this.  We tabulate the ballots and upload the results to the Sec of State.  All tabulation equipment in the State of Washington goes under vigorous testing before each election to ensure that the equipment and upload process is spot on accurate.

“Every aspect of the elections process is open for observation.  Most election law and procedures are outlined in detail in RCW 29A and WAC 434. Additional resources are listed at https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/election_laws.aspx . Also, each individual type of entity has more guidance in their own RCW, i.e. cities and towns, charter cities, fire districts, park and rec district, etc.”