Election vote

Tuesday is the last day to turn in ballots for the February special election.

As of Monday, voter turnout was more than 24%, with 15,499 ballots returned, according to the Yakima County Auditor’s Office. Eligible voters can register in person at the county office through 8 p.m. Tuesday, when ballots are due.

County Auditor Charles Ross said the turnout is on par with previous February special elections.

Ross said his office expects to have all of the ballots returned as of Monday included in the initial ballot count Tuesday evening. More mailed ballots will arrive in the days following the election.

Ross said additional day-of ballots from voter drop-off boxes and those mailed and postmarked by Election Day usually average 2,500 to 3,000 ballots. They will be tallied in the days following the initial count. Certified special election results will be announced Feb. 21.

Voters will decide eight levy proposals throughout the county.

The city of Yakima is asking voters to lift the local levy lid in an effort to cover operations costs like public safety, street and facility maintenance and addressing homelessness. It would mean increasing the city’s regular property tax levy by 40 cents to no more than $3.10 per $1,000 assessed property value in 2021.

The Naches Park and Recreation District is seeking a special two-year levy of just under $340,000 to fund general operating and equipment needs for 2021 and 2022, such as equipment and activities at the Applewood Park and Naches Swimming Pool.

Yakima, Sunnyside, Mabton and Naches Valley school districts are asking voters to renew four-year operations levies, while Zillah is pursuing the renewal of a two-year operations levy. Districts expect state matching funds if the levies are approved.

The Yakima School District is also asking voters to approve a capital improvements levy, which would help fund technology contracts and building maintenance or repair.

For previous coverage, go to www.yakimaherald.com/news/elections.

Reach Janelle Retka at jretka@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @janelleretka