POULSBO – The general election is on Nov. 8.
Americans will wake up the next day, having elected to the presidency either the first female (and spouse of a former president), or the first person to go directly from the business world to the Oval Office.
And they will have chosen those they want to set policies, write laws and invest tax dollars on their behalf in Congress, the Legislature, and in numerous local offices.
Voter turnout is expected to exceed 80 percent (as of Nov. 2, the Kitsap County Auditor Elections Division had received a total of 61,054 ballots – 36.67 percent of the 166,115 ballots mailed out). And county elections officials will tell you, every single vote counts.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy won the presidency by a margin of less than two votes per voting precinct. In 2000, 537 votes in Florida gave George W. Bush that state’s electoral votes and the presidency.
Kitsap County has seen its share of close elections as well. Here are some examples of local races that were so close, they triggered an automatic recount.
2012 Precinct Committee Officer (Seabeck)
Paige E. Mitchell 52
Timothy Runyan 52
(Settled with a coin toss; Mitchell won)
2011 Port Orchard Mayor
Tim Matthes 1,442
Lary Coppola 1,437
2009 Port Orchard City Council
Carolyn Powers 1,210
Cindy Lucarelli 1,198
2002 26th Legislative District (GOP primary)
Ed Mitchell 5,870
Kevin Entze 5,869
1997 Port of Poulsbo Commissioner, District 2
Ken Burns 835
Richard Mills 834
1996 Kitsap County Commissioner, District 2 (Democratic primary)
Charlotte Garrido 2,204
Beth Wilson 2,195
‘Presidential elections are always exciting’
In the 2012 presidential election, the voter turnout in Kitsap County was 82.10 percent; in 2008, 87 percent; in 2004, 85.97 percent. The voter turnout in Kitsap in 2000 was 79 percent.
“Presidential elections are always exciting, with a high percentage of voters casting a ballot,” said Dolores Gilmore, Kitsap County auditor. “I hope voters will use the state and local voter pamphlets as additional resources when deciding who they wish to fill these important offices.”
For voters mailing in their ballots, they must be postmarked by Nov. 8. The county has nine ballot drop boxes that will accept ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Bainbridge Island School District, 8489 Madison Ave. NE.
North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, 26642 Miller Bay Road NE.
Poulsbo Fire Station, 911 N.E. Liberty Road.
Kitsap Regional Library, 1301 Sylvan Way, Bremerton.
Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 Sixth St., Bremerton.
Central Kitsap School District, Administration Building, 9210 Silverdale Way NW.
South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Station 8, 1974 Fircrest Drive SE.
South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Station 17, 7990 McCormick Woods Drive SW.
Kitsap County Auditor, Administration Building, 619 Division St.
You can track your ballot on the Election Division’s online ballot tracker at www.kitsapgov.com/aud/elections.htm. Watch the video as Kitsap County Elections Manager Kyle Joyce takes viewers step by step through the process of receiving and counting ballots.
Go to KitsapDailyNews.com for links to stories and editorials by Kitsap News Group newspapers on the candidates and issues. The site will also provide comprehensive election night coverage.