Ballots for the 2016 general election were sent to Kitsap County’s 156,000 registered voters last week.
Ballots to military and overseas voters were mailed in late September, 45 days before the Nov. 8 general election. Local residents should receive their ballots by this week. The Local Voters Pamphlet also has been mailed out to every residential address and post office box in Kitsap County.
“Presidential elections are always exciting, with a high percentage of voters casting a ballot,” said Dolores Gilmour, 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.”
This general election has a dynamic unique in American presidential history: The two presidential nominees from the two major parties, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are highly controversial and have the unfortunate distinction of having the highest disapproval ratings in the history of presidential candidate polling. As a result, a significant number of voters are insisting they will not vote at all.
But there are many local and state down-ballot races that, in many ways, can have a more direct effect on local residents’ lives than the high-profile national races.
For voters mailing in their ballots, they must be postmarked by midnight, Nov. 8. The county has nine ballot drop boxes that will accept ballots until 8 p.m. on election day. Three are located in the Bremerton/Central Kitsap area; the other three in Port Orchard.
— Kitsap Regional Library
1301 Sylvan Way
— West Bremerton Norm Dicks Government Center
345 Sixth St.
— Central Kitsap School District Administration Building
9210 Silverdale Way NW
— South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Station 8
1974 Fircrest Drive SE
— SK Fire and Rescue Station 17
7990 McCormick Woods Drive SW
— Kitsap County Auditor Administration Building
619 Division St.
Does your vote matter?
Yes, it really does. And while tales abound of the fates of nations that turned on a single vote — or a handful — Kitsap County has also seen its share of close shaves.
And just before you sit down to mark your ballot, remember the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. It was decided by just 537 votes — out of 100 million cast.
Below are examples of local races that were so close, they triggered an automatic recount:
— 2011 Port Orchard Mayor
Tim Matthes 1,442 (5 vote difference)
Lary Coppola 1,437
— 2009 Port Orchard City Council
Carolyn Powers 1,210 (12 vote difference)
Cindy Lucarelli 1,198
— 2002 State Legislature Dist. 26 GOP primary
Ed Mitchell 5,870 (1 vote difference)
Kevin Entze 5,869
— 1997 Port of Poulsbo Commissioner District 2
Ken Burns 835 (1 vote difference)
Richard Mills 834
— 1996 Kitsap County Commissioner Pos. 2 Democratic Primary
Charlotte Garrido 2,204 (9 vote difference)
Beth Wilson 2,195