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Kitsap voters flooding Elections Division with returning ballots

Up to 90 percent of the county’s registered voters expected to vote

PORT ORCHARD — If there is one thing workers at Kitsap County’s Election Division can say with certainty this year, it’s that voter interest in the general election has not only bubbled to the top of the proverbial kettle, it has overflowed beyond expectations.

That’s evidenced anecdotally in part by overloaded telephone lines and lines leading out the door of the Elections Division office at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard.

Several Kitsap County registered voters stood outside the door and were busily filling out their election ballots prior to depositing their envelopes into a collection dropbox. Two first-time voters — a couple — said they showed up at the county government campus to drop off their ballot envelope. The pair didn’t want to give their names, but they said this time around, the election for president was the motivation they needed to ultimately fill out their ballots and vote.

“I guess we didn’t have an excuse not to vote this year,” the male member of the couple said. “There’s no way you can escape the fact that there’s a lot of attention being paid to the vote this year. It’s definitely important to make a decision this time around.”

In real numbers, Steve Gardner, the spokesman for the Elections Division, said county officials are expecting a return of between 85 and 90 percent from active voters when all ballots are counted. As of Tuesday morning, Gardner said 189,364 active voter registrations for Kitsap County were on file with the division.

“We hired 120 people to work the ballots at the vote center,” Gardner said. “So far [as of Tuesday morning], 74.5 percent of the ballots were received via dropbox, 22 percent by mail.”

Inside the Elections Division, workers were busy early in the week scanning ballots to a secure drive. He said officials are not able to view the results as they are being tabulated. At a little past 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the county spokesman said the results from the ballot scans will be made known. And then updates to the election count will be announced late in the afternoon in succeeding days after Nov. 3.

There’s still time for county residents to register to vote, but they’ll need to come to the Kitsap County Elections Division office to do so, or at specified locations in Bremerton and Poulsbo.

Voter registration is being accepted at Kitsap County Elections, 619 Division St. in Port Orchard, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30; from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31 and Monday, Nov. 2; and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Alternate locations in which to register are Marvin Williams Recreation Center, 725 Park Ave., in Bremerton, and Poulsbo Vote Center, Poulsbo Fire Station, 911 NE Liberty Road in Poulsbo. Both locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 31 and Nov. 2; and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Election Day, Nov. 3.

Once voters have registered to vote and have filled out their ballots, they can drop off the envelope containing the ballot either to the Kitsap County Elections Division in Port Orchard or the following drop box locations:

Bainbridge Island:

Bainbridge Island School District

8489 Madison Ave. NE

Bainbridge Island, WA

Bangor – Naval Base Kitsap:

2500 Ohio St.

NSB – Silverdale, WA

Bremerton – Downtown:

Norm Dicks Government Center

345 6th St.

Bremerton, WA

Kingston – North Kitsap Fire & Rescue:

26642 Miller Bay Rd. NE

Bremerton – East:

Kitsap Regional Library Sylvan Way

1301 Sylvan Way

Bremerton, WA

Burley Store:

14972 Bethel-Burley Rd. SE

Port Orchard, WA

Hansville – Norwegian Point Park:

38950 Hansville Rd. NE

Hansville, WA

Indianola Tennis Courts:

20761 Greenwood St. NE

Indianola, WA

Keyport – Central Park:

15378 Washington Ave. NE

Keyport, WA

Kingston – Village Green Park:

10810 NE West Kingston Rd.

Kingston, WA

Manchester Stormwater Park:

2399 Colchester Dr. E.

Port Orchard

Navy Yard City:

West Side Improvement Club

4109 West E. St.

Bremerton, WA

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Center:

31912 Little Boston Rd. NE

Kingston, WA

Port Orchard (East) – SKFR:

Station 8

1974 Fircrest Dr. SE

Port Orchard, WA

Port Orchard (Glenwood) – SKFR Station 17:

7990 McCormick Woods Dr. SW

Port Orchard, WA

Poulsbo Fire Station:

911 NE Liberty Rd.

Poulsbo, WA

Poulsbo – Olympic College:

1000 Olympic College Way NW

Poulsbo, WA

Seabeck – Green Mountain Elementary:

3860 Boundary Trail NW

Bremerton, WA

Silverdale – CK School District:

Jenne-Wright Building

9210 Silverdale Way NW

Silverdale, WA

Southworth WSF Terminal:

11677 SE Southworth Ferry Dr.

Port Orchard, WA

Suquamish Tribal Council Building:

18490 Suquamish Way NE

Suquamish, WA

Tracyton – Bremerton Elks, Lodge 1181:

4131 Pine Rd. NE

Bremerton, WA

Kitsap County residents with additional questions can contact the Elections Division at 360-337-7129 or visit the county’s Elections Division website at kitsapgov.com/auditor/Pages/elections.aspx.

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