We are in the 18-day voting period ahead of the Primary Election, and voters have until August 1 to return their ballots, but the Grays Harbor Elections office says that turnout is down so far.
Historically, the August election features less ballot returns as compared to the November General Election, although voters have an opportunity to weigh in a number of levies and opportunities for residents to narrow candidates to the top two ahead of November.
For comparison, in 2019, the last comparable Primary Election when Mayor races were present, saw a 28.33% turnout within Grays Harbor and 37.26% for Pacific.
On the ballot this year, which voters should have if their area is impacted, there are multiple races where more than two candidates filed.
This includes Mayor races in Aberdeen and Westport, council races in Aberdeen, Westport, Ocean Shores, and Ilwaco, and votes for funding to local taxing districts.
Within Pacific County, 5 candidates are also seeking the role of Port Commissioner for District 2 on the south end of the county.
Outside of the candidate races, voters throughout the counties are being asked to weigh options to increase or maintain funding to various areas.
In Grays Harbor, The Elma Police Department has a replacement levy on the ballot to continue funding for the department, extending the current levy that expires at the end of this year. The $250,000 levy would mean that approximately $0.52 per $1,000 of assessed value would remain and the funds would continue to be used within the city.
Police Chief Susan Shultz issued a letter saying that this replacement levy amount would not be to expand staff, although that need would need to be addressed in the future.
The South Beach Regional Fire Authority, which includes areas in both Grays Harbor and Pacific counties, is running an M&O levy on the ballot that would add $0.77 per $1,000 in assessed value for maintenance and operation.
Also within Pacific County, Public Hospital District 3 is asking for $10,000,000 for the Ocean Beach Hospital to improve and expand medical services.
In addition, for a limited number of East Grays Harbor residents, they are being asked if Commissioners in Mason County Fire Protection District 12 should be recalled due to malfeasance, misfeasance, or violations of their oaths in serving the district.
Ballots are due by August 1, either mailed or dropped into a ballot box throughout the counties.
- City of Aberdeen Mayor and one Council Position
- City of Westport Mayor and one Council Position
- City of Ocean Shores – One Council Position
- North Beach School District Two Council Positions
- South Beach RFA Levy
- City of Elma – Police Levy
- Mason County Fire District 12 – One Commissioner Position and Three Recall Measures
Grays Harbor Sample Ballot:
Pacific County Sample Ballot