Spokane County Elections Office temporarily moves to the Spokane Arena

SPOKANE, Wash. — People in Spokane County still have time to register to vote, and you can even do it on Election Day. Instead of going to the Elections Office, you’ll need to go to the Spokane Arena.

“We are in the Arena and this is where we will have voters coming on Monday and Tuesday,” said Vicky Dalton, Spokane County Auditor. “This election is one for the history books.”

Dalton said the temporary move was needed.

“Our little facility with only 30 parking spaces just simply cannot handle the volume of folks coming in,” she explained.

Workers spent Sunday morning setting up the Arena with computers and other tools they’ll need for the next two days.

The Elections Office will be closed, so you need to go to the arena if you want to register to vote and get a replacement ballot or envelope.

“You’ll enter the exhibit hall. You’ll be asked what you need,” Dalton said. “You’ll fill out a form and we’ll take care of you right then and there.”

But when you come in, you’ll go through a metal detector and you have to wear a mask. The floors are marking with social distancing markers.

If you don’t need to register to vote or a ballot, they’ll also help you answer any questions you may have.

After getting a ballot, you can fill it out there in one of two rooms with voting partitions. A machine is also available for people with vision or physical impairments. It doesn’t send your ballot in, but rather fills in the bubble. The ballot is then printed out.

Once your ballot is filled out and signed, the arena will have several drop boxes both inside and outside the arena.

As of Friday, a little more than 67% of voters have returned their ballots. Spokane County has more than 361,000 registered voters. Dalton thinks that number will climb.

“We expect up to another 2,000, maybe even 3,000 more registered voters in just the next two days,” she said.

On Tuesday, your ballot has to be put in a drop box by 8 p.m.

“We will have people stationed at our drop boxes and they will lock that box promptly at 8:00,” Dalton said.

If you are mailing it in, it has to be postmarked by 8 p.m.

“It must be in a USPS collection bin before the last pick up time that’s posted on that bin,” Dalton explained.

Dalton said this is the first time they’ve had to move their Elections Office in order to make sure voters get the services they need.

“What it means is people really want to make their voice heard in this election,” she said. “They want to state their opinion and they want to do it with their ballot.”

The arena will be open on Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Tuesday, you can get help between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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