by Brian Zylstra | November 24th, 2010
After three weeks of people checking our Elections webpage and wondering when the General Election will FINALLY be completed, we can now say that this election has been put to bed, with the exception of a handful of legislative and local races that need recounts.
All of the counties have certified their election results, and Secretary Reed and Governor Gregoire will certify the state results on December 2 at the Capitol.
The voter turnout in this election was 71.24 percent, the second highest midterm turnout in Washington history, falling short of only the 71.85 percent state record set in 1970. We knew earlier this week that this year’s turnout eclipsed the 71.15 mark set in 1958 and all previous midterm elections dating back to 1938, but we weren’t sure if it surpassed turnout prior to ’38. Well, it did. We checked all the way back to 1890 and determined that turnout during that period was nowhere as high as it nowadays. In fact, turnout for elections prior to the 1920s was incredibly low. It was conducted by city governments via paper ballots and little was done to announce the time and place for elections except for what was posted on the courthouse or city halls. A far cry from all of today’s many ways of getting the word out.
Here is the final county-by-county breakdown of the voter turnout results.
Recounts will occur in three legislative contests . There will be a hand recount of the 25th Legislative District House race between Democratic incumbent Dawn Morrell and Republican challenger Hans Zeiger, who leads by 47 votes. A machine recount will take place for the 42nd District House race between D incumbent Kelli Linville and R challenger Vincent Buys, who leads by 154 votes. And the 41st District Senate race between Democratic incumbent Randy Gordon and Republican challenger Steve Litzow will see a machine recount. Litzow leads by 194 votes.
There also will be recounts occurring in a Grays Harbor County Council Commission race, a San Juan County Council contest and a Benton County District Court battle.