Voters have the right to refuse to vote. As many as half of those who can vote, do not vote in a presidential election. The voter turnout in this country is lower than in most other Western democracies. During the 2000 presidential election, about 100 million voters did not vote.
During the past 50 years, and prior to 2007, the highest voter turnout for a Primary Election in Spokane County was 55%--the lowest was 14%. As of 2013, the highest voter turnout for casting General Election ballots was 80.47% in 2012; and the worst turnout for a General Election was 30% in 1971.
A low voter turnout does not reflect the will of all the people. Many elections have passed or failed by just a few votes. Every vote counts; and every election is important, because it affects your life.
Many citizens feel poorly represented, and even betrayed, by those elected to act in their behalf. In recent years some citizens in Spokane have even desired to divide our state, feeling that the west side of Washington does not vote the values of the east side of the state.
Most likely, there is fault on both sides of this issue—the elected officials and the citizens. Many legislators claim they do not hear from the citizens, and interpret their silence to mean “approval.” On the other hand, a large percentage of citizens simply do not vote!
- Cast your vote. Ballots must be postmarked by the day of the election in order to be counted.
Unpostmarked ballots can be dropped off until 8 pm on Election Day at special boxes located at
- Assist Non-English speaking voters.
Spokane has many citizens who cannot read a voter’s guide—those who are
blind, uneducated, have a visual impairment like dyslexia, or those
whose primary language is not English. Spanish pamphlets (only) may be
picked up at the Spokane County Elections Office. Contact the Elections
Office to request ballots that are printed in English, Spanish,
Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian and Vietnamese.