Voter turnout low ahead of February Special Election

The turnout for the February 14th Special Election has been low with a week left before ballots are due.

The Grays Harbor Elections Office tells KXRO that voters in East County and on the South Beach are returning ballots at a slow pace ahead of the upcoming election.

Based on ballot return statistics as of Monday, just over 1,000 ballots had been accepted as being returned, out of nearly 9,000 issued.

This equates to approximately a 12% turnout.

The only items on the ballot for February are school levies for the Elma and Ocosta school districts.

On the South Beach, the Ocosta School District is proposing a three-year replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy on the ballot.

This levy would continue funding extracurricular activities, athletics, and other educational programs for Ocosta students. This is not a new tax but a replacement for the previous EP&O levy.

Property owners in the Ocosta School District are told that the current Capital Projects Levy will drop off the rolls at the end of 2023, lessening the tax burden on the property owner by $.42 per $1000 of assessed value.

Voters in the Elma School District are considering a $66 million bond measure that is said to address needs identified by a recent community-based facilities study.

This included: overcrowding in classrooms, insufficient parking, and recreational spaces, and out of date and limited career, technical and alternative related facilities.

The bond, if approved by the voters; would build a new 4th-6th grade elementary school, construct and improve existing athletic facilities, update parking, and provide improvements to the 7th – 12th grade career and technical related learning facilities.

Ballots must be postmarked or in ballot return boxes by 8:00 pm on February 14.