Washington primary voters may have set a new modern record for participation. As of this morning, over 950,000 ballots have been counted — or nearly 27 percent of the state’s 3.6 million registered voters. The rule of thumb is that between 50 and 60 percent of the expected votes are tallied on election night, with the rest arriving in the mail today and in the coming days.
Elections Director Nick Handy says the eventual turnout could be in the mid-to-high 40s or even more. Based on historic turnout for a mid-term, non-presidential year primary, the Elections Division had forecast a 38 percent turnout, which would tie the recent record set in 2006. The average over the last few decades for mid-term primaries is 34 percent.
“Voters clearly are very energized and want to take part in this year’s elections. People are really engaged. It’s also clear that voters like the Top 2 system that allows everyone to participate and choose their favorite for each office. And many people in this hectic world really appreciate the great convenience of voting by mail.”
You can track the progress of the turnout percentage as additional returns are added each day. Go to www.vote.wa.gov and click on the turnout tab.