Primary election voter turnout
Primary election ballots have been mailed to 3.59 million registered voters in Washington state. The state is predicting about a 38 percent return, while in King County it could be 45 percent.
“We are seeing a surge of interest in politics and campaigns at both the national and state level, with people again talking about a ‘change’ election,” says Sam Reed, the Secretary of State. “We have a great U.S. Senate race, some unusually heated legislative contests all around the state, an open 3rd Congressional District, some Supreme Court races that could be essentially decided in the primary, and much more.
Reed adds in a news release he secretly hopes the ballot return rate will get in to the 40 percent range.
State Elections Director Nick Handy says that prediction is at the top of the range for a mid-term election. He says, “A number of voters are being energized by the Tea Party movement, or reaction to it. There is general unrest about government and we hear national reports of anti-incumbency.”
King County’s election director says about 1,500 ballots have already been returned. Sherril Huff is projecting a total county return of 45 percent for the upcoming primary election.
The August 17th election is a “top two” primary, meaning the top two candidates will advance to the November 2nd General Election regardless of party affiliation.
Today, every county except for Pierce has switched entirely to vote-by-mail, and most Pierce voters have signed up for mail voting.