Stevens County Treasurer/Auditor Stephanie Buss. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

While the Stevens County Courthouse is open to the public now, county officials are still concerned about ensuring safety for the upcoming August 11 primary and November 3 general elections. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Stevens County Board of Commissioners, County Auditor/Treasurer Stephanie Buss said the county will be getting some assistance from the state with supplies.

“The State is providing us with masks, wipes and hand sanitizer for all the polling places,” said Buss. “And they are going to encourage voters to wear face coverings. We have not gotten official guidance on what we’re going to do if we have voters that refuse, how we can handle that.”

Buss said her office has been receiving a huge amount of absentee ballot requests and has been sending out 10 to 15 absentee ballots a day. But a recent court ruling will lead to an expected delay in providing election results.

“If it’s postmarked on the Election Day and we receive it up to two days after, we have to count it now,” Buss added. “So, you will…have no results on election night. So any mail ballot or absentee ballot that gets postmarked on August 11th now for the primary, we have until Thursday’s mail to receive that and we have to count those.”

Commissioner Donny Wohlers expressed concern that many county residents who drop a ballot in the mail on Election Day won’t have their vote counted if it doesn’t arrive in two days time. There was a reminder to mail absentee ballots as early as possible.

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