Ballots will be mailed today

New voting dropboxes will be installed next week



People can register to vote online until Oct. 26. After that, they must register in-person.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

Whitman County officials will mail Washington voting ballots today, and voters can expect to see them by mid to late next week, according to the county auditor. 

County auditor Sandy Jamison said the county made several changes in light of COVID-19 and other events. Voters can drop their ballots at 190 SE Crestview St. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. This is the Pullman Parks, Facilities and Recreation office, Jamison said. 

Dropboxes will also be installed next week, Jamison said, in front of the Chinook Student Center and another one at the Compton Union Building. Another dropbox will be placed in front of Dissmore’s IGA.

“There’s a huge demand on ballot dropboxes from all over the country,” Jamison said. “I felt very fortunate to even get in under the gun and get them delivered in time.”

Because of the cost to have staff collect ballots from the dropboxes, Jamison said she encourages voters to use their own postal service and get them mailed before Election Day. 

The cutoff for mailing in ballots is 8 p.m. Nov. 3, but Jamison said voters need to have it in the mailbox before the last postal pickup time, which varies by mailbox. 

“If they got it into a mailbox by noon on Election Day, they should be okay,” Jamison said.

Zackary Turner, executive director of the Washington Student Association, said the CUB will host student engagement voting centers to encourage more voter turnout from younger people.

Jamison said any Washington voter can register or update their address at these centers. 

The student engagement hub will be located on the second floor of the CUB in the junior ballroom, Jamison said. 

The hub will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 2. Voters can use these days to drop their ballot off or go online to download a ballot if they did not get one. 

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, voters can use this hub to change their addresses and register, Jamison said. 

“It’s a full access to our system,” she said. “The key thing is if a student has not registered, they can do so at the CUB.”

The final day to register on is Oct. 26, Turner said. 

Starting Oct. 27, people can no longer update addresses or register online and will have to do so in person at the elections office at 33 S. Main St. in Colfax, Jamison said. On Election Day, they can do it at the CUB, she said. 

In Whitman County, incumbent County Commissioner Art Swannack is running unopposed for the first commissioner seat. For the county commissioner 2 chair, Tom Handy of no party affiliation is running against Dean Kinzer of the Republican Party. 

Gary J. Libey is running unopposed for the Whitman Superior Court judicial position. Dave Larson is facing Raquel Montoya-Lewis in the third justice position. Charles Johnson is running unopposed for the fourth justice position, and Debra Stephens is also unopposed for the seventh justice position. Richard Sterns and G. Helen Whitener will face off for the sixth justice position

Turner said young people and students make up the largest voting bloc and also the most disenfranchised voting group, so WSA encourages everyone to vote and vote early. 

“If you’re not on the table, you’re on the chopping block,” Turner said. 

In 2018, most Whitman County residents between 18 and 24 years old were not registered to vote. Even though 31.4 percent were registered, less than half voted, according to ASWSU Issues and Forums.

“We have the power to change everything about politics,” Turner said. “You voting is saying to your representatives, I care about these things and I want you to know that.”