Today is Election Day; ballots must be postmarked or placed in drop boxes by 8 p.m.

The primary election is Aug. 17. The two top vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation or preference, will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.  - Contributed photo
The primary election is Aug. 17. The two top vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation or preference, will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Today is Election Day. The top two vote-getters — regardless of party affiliation or preference — advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

If you're going to mail in your ballot, it must be postmarked today. Ballot drop boxes in Friday Harbor, Eastsound and Lopez Village close at 8 p.m. Ballots can be dropped off at the Elections Office until 8 p.m.

Preliminary election results will be reported by 8:15 p.m., according to the Elections Office.

Of 11,488 ballots mailed out for this election, 4,499 had been returned by Monday night — a turnout thus far of about 39 percent. Elections Supervisor Doris Schaller is expecting the final turnout to be 60 percent.

There's a lot at stake.

Five candidates are vying to be the first new county sheriff in 24 years: Jeff Asher, a long-time sheriff’s deputy who received 2,363 votes in the 2002 election for sheriff; Brad Fincher, adult probation officer and chairman of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition; Brent Johnson, lead sheriff’s detective and chairman of the county Veterans Advisory Board; Felix Menjivar, sheriff’s deputy and Friday Harbor Town Council member; and Rob Nou, sheriff’s deputy and former police chief of Burns, Ore.

There are three candidates for the Lopez/Shaw seat on the San Juan County Council: Jerry Gonce of Lopez Island, a retired city manager; Bob Myhr of Lopez Island, a County Council member seeking a second term; Jamie Stephens, a Lopez port commissioner.

On Orcas Island, voters will decide whether to support a $27 million bond for the island's public schools.

On the state level, there are eight candidates for 40th District state House of Representatives, position 1: Thomas Boucher, a former congressional and legislative aide; Chuck Carrell of Burlington; Dusty Gulleson of Bellingham, owner of a technology company; Kristine Lytton, president of the Anacortes School Board; Donna R. Miller of Friday Harbor, manager of a physical therapy office; Mike Newman, a Mount Vernon real estate agent; Tom Pasma of Bow, a horse rancher and 40th District Democratic Party chairman; and Justin Van Dyk, a political science student at Western Washington University.

There are three candidates for 40th District state House of Representatives, position 2: Jeff Morris of Anacortes, the seven-term incumbent who is also House speaker pro tem; Howard Pellett of Anacortes, Green Party chairman and retired IRS agent; and John Swapp of Anacortes, manufacturing engineer.

On the national level, there are five candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2: John Carmack of Bellingham, engineer; Larry Kalb of Bellingham, president of Health Care for All; John Koster of Arlington, a Snohomish County Council member and congressional candidate in 2000; Rick Larsen of Everett, who has represented District 2 in Congress for five terms; and Diana McGinness of Bellingham, a retired insurance fraud investigator.

For U.S. Senate, there are 15 candidates, among them three-term incumbent Patty Murray, former state senator and almost governor Dino Rossi, and NFL tight end-turned-farmer Clint Didier.

To learn more about all candidates, view the Online Voters Guide, the Online Voters Guide.

Journal, Sounder, Weekly election coverage
Stories will be posted Election Night on,, and Updated results will be published in the Aug. 24 Weekly and the Aug. 25 editions of The Journal and the Sounder.

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Here’s what you need to know to make sure your ballot is counted.

Post office hours
— Deer Harbor: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Eastsound: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Friday Harbor: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Lopez: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Olga: 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
— Orcas Village: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
— Shaw: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Ballot drop box locations
— San Juan County Elections Office, 55 Second St., Suite A, Friday Harbor.
— Friday Harbor: Outside the County Courthouse, Second Street entrance.
— Eastsound: Outside the Orcas Senior Center, 62 Henry Road.
— Lopez Village: Outside the Lopez Island Fire District 4 Office, Fisherman Bay Road.

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