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Ballots are in the mail for Clark County's corner of the Washington primary election

Voting for Washington’s primary election is underway. Clark County ballots were mailed out yesterday, with Election Day falling on August 2.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Voting for Washington’s primary election is underway. In Clark County, ballots were mailed out Thursday. The election is August 2, so you have until 8 p.m. that day to get your ballots in a drop box — or have them in the mail and postmarked.

"Ballots were delivered to the post office yesterday and voters have begun receiving the ballots as of today. Monday, we expect to have several thousand ballots here in our office to begin processing," said Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey, who oversees elections.

You can tell it is primary election season because political signs for a variety of races dot the landscape in and around Vancouver. That includes a race to replace retiring Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins.

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There are three candidates for sheriff, all with decades of law enforcement experience.

John Horch has spent his entire career with the Clark County Sheriff's Office. David Shook’s experience is mostly with the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, though he spent the past few years with Clark County. And Rey Reynolds' career has been with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Vancouver Police Department.

Also on the ballot is a primary race for Washington's 3rd Congressional District, where Jaime Herrera Beutler has held the seat since 2010. She faces challenges from eight other candidates, including Donald Trump-endorsed republican Joe Kent, Republican Heidi St. John and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.

Political science professor Mark Stephan thinks the 3rd District is shaping up to be an interesting race because of what voters may do. It's an area that leans slightly Republican, but the primary results could set up very different looking races come November.

"Perez would have a better shot with Kent, but it’s a more risky situation for Democrats because they could still lose and then they would get Joe Kent vs. Herrera Beutler in this position for the 3rd District — and for many Democrats that would be upsetting," said Stephan, who is an associate professor at Washington State University, Vancouver.

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Unlike in Oregon, in Washington the top two vote-getters move on to the general election.

“It doesn’t matter what the political parties are of those two candidates, it’s just the top two vote-getters go on to the general election,” said Kimsey.

So with ballots in the mail, it's time to watch for your it in your mailbox and do your research. And then, as it has worked for years in Washington and Oregon, get your ballot back to the Clark County Elections Office by mailing it in or dropping it off at a secure drop box location.

“We have a number of procedures and controls in place to ensure that when you drop your ballot off at the ballot drop box it is going to be delivered to the Elections Office,” said Kimsey.

There are 22 drop box locations in Clark County, available 24-7 from now until August 2 at 8 p.m. And again, if you’re mailing it in, you have to have it postmarked by August 2 for your vote to be counted.

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