‘I’m trying to make a difference’: Voters show up at Spokane Arena to take care of last minute voting needs

SPOKANE,  Wash. — Thousands of people in Spokane County are getting their last minute voting needs met at the Spokane Arena.

The temporary voter services centers, Spokane Arena and Centerplace Regional Event Center, are open for an influx of people needing to register to vote or getting replacement ballots.

Spokane County Auditor expects about 3,000 people to walk through the Spokane Arena. On Monday, the first day it opened, both the voter services centers saw more than 1,000 people come in.

“We have so many voters interested in voting in this election, that we had to move from our main office to the arena in order to handle all the traffic flow,” said Vicky Dalton, the Spokane County Auditor.

A line was formed mid-day and grew until the early evening, with a wait time of about an hour at one point in the day.

“I came here, to pay tribute, number one, to all the people who died for my right to be able to do this,” said voter Larry Reid.

He walked away from the Spokane Arena happy to be part of this election, especially because he couldn’t vote at one point.

“I’m an ex-felon. at one point, I couldn’t vote because of my criminal record,” Reid told 4 News Now.

But, he got to do it on Tuesday, on Election Day, among hundreds and thousand of others making their voices heard.

Allie Clark was one of them, too. She told 4 News Now Tuesday was the first time she filled out a ballot.

Clark says she waited until the last day, because she had other things going on in her life. However, she watched a documentary about voting last night that pushed her to come out and vote.

“I was apart of this. I’m trying to make a difference,” she said, adding that that’s what she’d tell her children one day.

As of Monday, more than 360,000 people were registered to vote in Spokane County. Dalton says they are expecting to see nearly 90 percent of voters return their ballots this year.

“We’re expecting to count more ballots in this election, than we even had registered voters than in 2018 election. That’s how much interest is here in this particular election,” Dalton added.

Clark and Reid are two of hundreds and thousands in the county who care about what the end results are, and what the future could look like.

“When I have passed this way, and I’m no longer here, I want them to put on my epithet that he left this place in a better condition than he found it,” Reid said.

Dalton says that if voters are checking the status of their ballot and it says it’s being “challenged,” people will be getting a letter in the mail. She asks voters to follow those steps in the letter to fix the issues, then return it to them before November 23. Dalton says this happens to about 1 percent to 1.5 percent of voters in the county.

The election in Washington state will be certified on November 24.

READ: #4ThePeople: Fun facts about elections in the Inland Northwest