PRH decides on ballot-counting methods

PRH+decides+on+ballot-counting+methods

YANG CHEN | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

JAKOB THORINGTON, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners clarified that overvotes and undervotes will not be counted to validate its expansion bond.

Tricia Grantham, president of the board, said an overvote includes a yes and no selection on a ballot. An undervote is a ballot that has no selection for the bond.

The board needs a voter turnout of at least 3,745, or 40 percent, of Pullman voters registered in Whitman County. Sixty percent of those voters must vote yes on the bond for it to pass, Grantham said. The bond will only be on the ballots of residents living in Pullman.

Last April, 64 percent of voters selected yes for the bond, Grantham said. The bond failed because voter turnout was about 500 ballots short of validating the bond.

The $29 million bond would fund the hospital’s Next Era of Excellence expansion project. Ballots must be sent to the auditor’s office by election day on Nov. 5.

Grantham said just under 1,400 ballots county-wide were not mailed out this election season.

“We don’t know what kind of influence that will have, but we do know people didn’t get their ballots,” she said.

The board met last Tuesday after Whitman County’s Auditor Sandy Jamison informed the board it was up to them if they wanted to count undervotes and overvotes toward voter turnout, Grantham said.

Voters can download ballots and register to vote at voter.votewa.gov.