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OKANOGAN - Ballots for the Aug. 3 primary election were mailed by the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office last week.

Approximately 8,000 ballots were sent county-wide, said Auditor Cari Hall.

Voters have until Election Day to return their marked and signed ballots. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Aug. 3.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends mailing ballots at least a week before the election, said the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

Ballots also may be dropped off at the auditor’s office or in official ballot drop boxes until 8 p.m. Aug. 3. In Okanogan County, drop boxes are at the Coulee Dam Town Hall, 300 Lincoln Ave.; outside the Colville tribal administration building, 21 Colville St., Nespelem; in Omak next to the police station, 8 N. Ash St., at 12 Tribes Resort Casino 18968 Highway 97; Oroville Police Station, 1105 Main St.; parking lot of 180 Pateros Mall, Pateros; in Riverside at 101 First St.; Tonasket City Hall, 209 S. Whitcomb Ave.; Twisp Town Hall, 110 E. Second St., and the Winthrop Barn, 51 Highway 20;

The deadline for online and mailed voter registrations or updates is July 26. Voters can register or update information in person by 8 p.m. Election Day at the auditor’s office.

Items on the ballot include:

-Douglas-Okanogan County Hospital District No. 1 – The district, which operates Three Rivers Hospital, is seeking renewal of a one-year levy approved by voters last year. The district is seeking $750,000, the same amount as last year.

Money from the current levy has been used to help offset the cost of maintaining full-time emergency services with ERx Group, said the district. The approved cost was 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

“We are requesting that it be extended for another year at the same rate,” said CEO Scott Graham. “This revenue has been tremendously helpful to our hospital during the pandemic. It has helped us continue providing this critical service to our district during a time that has been economically uncertain for a lot of rural hospitals like ours.”

If approved, the estimated annual tax for a home valued at $200000 would be $66 per year.

Graham said the arrangement with ERx has been successful for about seven years “and we have expanded their contract recently to include inpatient coverage as well,” said Graham. “This provides a more stable consistency of care for our patients, from the time they’re seen in the ER to their stay in acute care.”

-City of Pateros Proposition No. 1 – Sales and use tax transportation improvements.

-Pateros City Council position No. 1 – Candidates are Adam Fritz, Frank Herbert and Chantel R. Poole.

-Bridgeport School District director district No. 2 – Candidates are Walter Gomez, Juan R. Morales, Lorena Vazquez and Kathy (Katherine) Corbin.

-Nespelem School District director district No. 5 – Candidates are Nancy Armstrong-Montes, Patrick Morin Jr. and Val Vargas-Thomas.

-Lake Chelan School District director district No. 1 – Candidates are Stephanie Fuller, Cole Soreano and Brooke Isaak.

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