In most contests, only the winner is important.
But in the Primary Election that voters are deciding by mail-in ballot through Tuesday, Aug. 4, the top two are important as both move on to the Nov. 3 general election, which will include the tally for president.
Kitsap County Auditor Paul Andrews said Wednesday that 28,680 ballots out of 179,419 registered voters have been returned so far, or about 16 percent. He said that is tracking at about a 40 percent turnout overall.
So far, voting for the District 23 legislative races has the most participants with 3,221 votes, or 13.2 percent.
Ballots can be mailed for free, but there also are 22 drop boxes around Kitsap County. Voters can take their ballots there by 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Andrews advises that if you mail your ballot it needs to be postmarked by Aug. 4.
“Make sure you don’t miss the last pickup of the day,” he said. “Because mail from Kitsap County is processed in Seattle there is a chance if you mail your ballot on Election Day it won’t process before midnight and ultimately will not be counted when it gets to us.”
The closest voting center is at the Poulsbo Fire Station, 911 NE Liberty Road. It is open Saturday and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required because of COVID-19.
Voting centers are open to anyone in the state. People can also register and receive a ballot. There are assisted voting machines for people with sight or hearing conditions.
Anyone age 18 or older can vote if registered. Andrews recommends people as young as 16 can register so when they turn 18 they will get a ballot.
The only federal race has incumbent Democrat Rep. Derek Kilmer seeking re-election in Washington’s 6th Congressional District.
Thirty-five candidates are challenging incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, in the primary. Key Republican candidates are Loren Culp, Tim Eyman, Joshua Freed, Raul Garcia and Phil Fortunado.
Eleven hopefuls are running to be the new lieutenant governor. Incumbent Cyrus Habib is not seeking reelection and becoming a priest.
Kim Wyman is running to return as secretary of state, while fellow Republican Duane Davidson wants his job back as treasurer. His only opponent, Mike Pellicciotti, also will move on to the general election. Pat McCarthy also wants to return as auditor and Bob Ferguson as attorney general.
Hilary Franz again is trying for commissioner of public lands while Chris Reykdal is running for state schools superintendent in a nonpartisan race and Mike Kreidler as insurance commissioner.
Except where noted, the other incumbents are Democrats.
State and county races
In District 23, for state senator, both incumbent Christine Rolfes-D and Pam Madden-Boyer-R will advance, as well as Position 2 incumbent Rep. Drew Hansen-D and his opponent, Elaina Gonzales-Blanton-R. In the Position 1 race, with Sherry Appleton retiring, five candidates are in the mix. April Ferguson is the only Republican. The Democrats are Leslie J. Daugs, Lou Krukar, Tarra Simmons and James Beall.
Three candidates are running in each of the District 26 representative races. For Position 1, Republican incumbent Jesse L. Young is being challenged by Carrie Hesch and Drew Darsow, both Democrats. For Position 2, incumbent Michelle Caldier will face fellow Republican Alisha Beeler and Democrat Joy Stanford.
For Kitsap County commissioners, both Robert Gelder-D and Scott Henden-R will advance in District 1. Six candidates are running in District 2: Democrats Paul Nuchims, Charlotte Garrido and Stacey (Spencer) Smith; Republicans Oran R. Root and Marcus Carter, and Bob Perkins, no party preference.
There are 34 precinct committee officer spots on the ballot, only four for Democrats. All have at least two candidates.
The primary will be certified Aug. 18.