Low turnout expected for Primary Election

Low turnout expected for Primary Election

Voting has started for the Aug. 1 Primary Election, but just a quarter of Bainbridge voters are expected to cast ballots by Election Day.

The Kitsap County Elections Division has issued more than 161,000 ballots for the election, and Bainbridge Island voters will pick two candidates in two races to advance to November’s General Election.

Three candidates are vying for the District 5 position on the Bainbridge Island School Board.

Incumbent Sheila Jakubik is seeking a second term, and is being challenged by Jesse Burns and Christina Wakefield.

The other race on the Bainbridge primary ballot is for the District 7, North Ward city council seat.

Joe Deets and Kevin Fetterly are running for the position, as incumbent Councilman Val Tollefson earlier decided against seeking re-election.

Also on the ballot in that race is J. Mack Pearl, who has since withdrawn from the contest (but not in time to have his name removed from the ballot).

Elections officials said this week there were 18,742 active registered voters on Bainbridge Island as of the 29-day deadline to transfer or register online, at the Department of Licensing or via mail.

That number may increase slightly, officials said, as those who are not currently registered in Washington state have until 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 24 to register in person at the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office in Port Orchard.

Voters who are currently in inactive status have until Election Day to re-activate their registration.

Turnout for the Primary Election is expected to echo earlier primaries, and officials said just a quarter of registered voters on Bainbridge will likely cast ballots through Aug. 1.

In the 2015 Primary Election, turnout on Bainbridge was 23.9 percent. Turnout was 23.4 percent for the 2013 Primary Election, said Kitsap County Elections Manager Kyle Joyce.

Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 1 or dropped off at one of the county’s 17 ballot drop boxes. On Bainbridge, the drop box is located outside the Bainbridge Island School District offices at 8489 Madison Ave. NE.

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