Washington is poised for record-setting voter turnout in this year’s midterm election. The Seattle Times reports,
As of Monday, elections officials had received ballots from more than 40 percent of the state’s 4.3 million registered voters, according to Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office.
With the largest deliveries of ballots typically arriving in the days just before and after Election Day, Tuesday, turnout looks like it will reach the mid- to high 70s, said Wyman, a Republican. “That’s pretty amazing for a midterm,” she said.
If the prediction holds, voter participation would surpass the 1970 record of 72 percent, set amid the Vietnam War and presidency of Richard Nixon.
The Spokesman-Review reports more than half of Spokane County ballots have already been cast.
With a day left to cast ballots in the 2018 election, more than half of Spokane County voters had returned theirs to the elections office, almost assuring a record turnout for a mid-term.
Helped by a hotly contested congressional race in Eastern Washington, Spokane turnout was running about 10 percentage points ahead of the state average. Eight of the other nine counties in the 5th Congressional District also had turnout significantly higher than the state as a whole.
As the Everett Herald editorial board writes, there’s a lot driving turnout this year.
There is plenty of credit to go around for generating interest and participation in this year’s election, including what even President Trump has described as a referendum on his first two years in office. But along with legislative races and higher profile races for the U.S. House and Senate, Washington state voters also are determining the fate of several initiatives, two of which have generated record or near-record levels of fundraising that has made those issues nearly inescapable.
Nor has it hurt that ballots this year don’t need a postage stamp to be dropped in the mail.
The high-turnout expectations in Washington are mirrored across the nation, with closely-watched Congressional and gubernatorial races and significant ballot issues in many states. The Seattle Times has published a guide to watching the returns. While Washington results in some races may not be known for days, you can monitor results at the Secretary of State’s Election page.
Should be an interesting … and long … night.