With all the talk about voting are you registered for November?
With all the talk about elections and voting here's a question for you. Are you a registered voter? If you answer yes did you vote in the November general election last November?
Washington set a new record for turnout last year.
THE TURNOUTS IN YAKIMA AND IN THE STATE NEAR RECORD LOWS
State elections officials says the turnout was a low 36.41% for the election which they say was the lowest turnout since the 1930's when the state started record keeping. Along with a low voter turnout number statewide Yakima County had the lowest turnout in the state at 25.8%.
BALLOTS WILL BE SENT OUT SOON FOR ISSUES ON THE BALLOT IN FEBRUARY
The turnout isn't expected to jump next month even though 8 school districts in the valley will ask voters to approve levies that pay for school operations, programs and services.
The Wapato School District is asking voters to approve a bond proposal and the Naches Valley School District is hoping voters support a capital levy.
MANY WHO ARE REGISTERED WILL NEVER VOTE
So why do so many ignore the ballot? Ross says there's a number of reasons but he says thousands of people are added to the voter rolls by simply going through the process of getting an ID or drivers license every year. The state's motor voter law is an opt out law. In other words people are automatically added to voter rolls if they qualify and meet all the standards. A person must opt out or tell the Department of Licensing that you don't want to be a registered voter. Ross says when people are automatically registered even though they have no intention of voting voter rolls grow while participation suffers and grows smaller every election season.
ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?
There's no deadline to register to vote. You can register today online at the secretary of states office https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/register.aspx or at the Yakima County Auditors Office inside the Yakima County Courthouse.
If you go inside the Yakima County Courthouse be prepared to go through security screening.
ROSS SAYS HE EXPECTS A BIG JUMP IN TURNOUT IN NOVEMBER
Ross says he expects the turnout in the county and the state to increase to 80% or more for the upcoming 2024 Presidential election.
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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang