On Nov. 8, 2011, thousands of Walla Walla County voters filed into the elections building to fill out their voting ballots. According to the Walla Walla County website, approximately 53 percent of the county’s registered voters took part in the election.
County office employees and volunteers are currently in the process of tabulating results. As of Thursday, Nov. 10, 11,102 ballots have been counted. Another 632 will be counted on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Candidates for District 2 Port Commissioner are in a close race. Current commissioner Michael Fredrickson leads Barlow Corkrum by only 49 votes. Whoever wins this election will be responsible for setting policy and approving port expenditures. The port is a corporation that works to create economic opportunities for the Walla Walla community.
According to a Union-Bulletin article on Friday, Nov. 11, votes for district two port commissioner may be recounted if the margin stays this close.
Voters also seem to be fairly split on Initiative Measure 1183, which would close statewide liquor stores and permit the state to issue liquor licenses to private parties. 54.6 percent of Walla Walla County voted yes on the initiative so far.
A majority of voters have also voted yes on initiative measures 1125 and 1163, which concern transportation expenditures and long-term elderly care workers respectively.
Because the election results will affect students living in Walla Walla, County Auditor Karen Martin urges them to take an interest in local elections and not just presidential ones.
Debbie Benavides agrees.
“I’d like to see more student involvement: coming down, watching, voting. We have an open door every day,” Benavides said.
Martin suggests ways in which students can get more involved in local politics.