Spokane County ballots pour in ahead of election night

Come 8:15 p.m. on November 5, voters across Spokane County may have a much clearer picture of what’s to come for the area as the first wave of election results roll in.

In the meantime, workers at the Spokane County Elections Office are doing their best to keep up with the flood of ballots that have come in over the last week. Terry Adams, who picks up ballots from drop boxes across the county, says the closer we get to the election, the crazier it’s getting at the election office.

“We pulled in 5,200 ballots,” Adams said of one of his team’s runs this week. “So that was a lot. Last Tuesday, we had 936 for the two teams. That was it!”

In all, Adams and other workers are expected to pick up 120,000 ballots, which translates to a voter turnout of about 40-45%. Spokane County auditor Vicky Dalton says that’s on par with what she was expecting, considering it’s an odd-year, municipal election.

Though Dalton says you may not want to put too much stock in Tuesday’s first return, which will account for all the ballots she and her team have been able to process up until that morning.

“In years past, we’ve seen as much as a five percent swing from election night til the final tabulation. So we’ve actually had candidates who look like they’re winning on election night, lose the election when we finally certify,” Dalton said. “It can happen.”

Dalton and her team cannot count your ballot until it’s in a dropbox or postmarked by 8 p.m. on election night.