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Posted on Jul 28, 2017

Only a few days left to vote in primary election: Column

By Dave Burgess

It’s the mayor’s race – a rare opportunity to choose from among four candidates for mayor of Quincy. Who will move on to the general election and who will become mayor – these are important questions for the future of the community.
Hopefully, Quincy residents have read about the candidates and met them, talked about the issues and thoughtfully made a choice.
Those ballots are filled out and mailed already, right?
Well, maybe not. Human nature doesn’t always work that way.
The most recent government data shows that not a lot of voters in Grant County have mailed in their ballots. The Washington Secretary of State Elections Division reported on Monday morning that 2,839, or 11.2 percent, of the 25,339 voters in Grant County had turned in their ballots. Three days earlier, the returned ballots totaled 2,331, or 9.2 percent.
For local voters who have put off this little task, know that your last chance is Tuesday, Aug. 1, 7:59 p.m., at the Quincy library. That’s where you will find a ballot drop box – a large metal container bolted to the pavement near the sidewalk on C Street SE, next to the library’s parking area.
On Monday, there was a tall, red-white-and-blue banner rippling in the breeze – you can’t miss it. The drop box is the best choice on Aug. 1 to submit a ballot.
To count, ballots must be received in the Grant County election office or in a ballot box by 8 p.m., Aug. 1, or be postmarked by Aug. 1 (and arrive at the county office before the election certification date – 10 days later).
There are ballot drop boxes in five locations: one at Moses Lake City Hall; one in the Grant County Courthouse parking lot; one at the Grand Coulee office of Grant PUD; one at the Fire District 10 hall in Royal City; and the one behind the Quincy public library.
The drop boxes will be locked up promptly at 8 p.m. on Aug. 1, according to Michele Blondin, an election administrator for Grant County.
If you are still thinking about your primary vote and want to push your luck by mailing your ballot on Tuesday, remember: the post office’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dropping your ballot in a mail slot doesn’t guarantee your envelope will get that Aug. 1 postmark. To get that postmark, you can request it at the post office counter.
But why chance it? Just walk east to the drop box outside the library – you can see the drop box from the post office – drop in your ballot and make your vote count.

Dave Burgess is the editor of The Quincy Valley Post-Register and can be reached at