Register to vote in person by Monday for Aug. 17 primary

August 3, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 3, 2010

Though ballots must be postmarked or dropped off by Aug. 17, residents can still register to vote in the primary election.

People can register in-person at the King County Elections office in Tukwila, 9010 E. Marginal Way S., by 4:30 p.m. Monday. Learn more about the registration process here.

King County Elections Director Sherril Huff forecast 45 percent turnout in the all-mail primary. Secretary of State Sam Reed, the top elections official in Washington, predicted 38 percent turnout statewide.

“We have some exciting primary races for U.S. Senate and several congressional seats, including the 3rd District,” Reed said in a news release. “We also have lots of legislative, county and other local races on tap. Voting is easier and more convenient than ever. I hope people will take advantage by filling out their ballot at home and either mailing it back or delivering it to their county elections office or drop box.”

The county mailed ballots to 1.1 million voters last week.

Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 17, or dropped into a drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Create a personalized voter guide here. Find drop box locations here. Track ballots here.

Voters will winnow the contenders in each primary race — regardless of party affiliation — to two candidates. The top candidates advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

State Elections Director Nick Handy described the state turnout forecast as “at the top of the historic range” for a mid-term election.

“There a many upward factors,” he said in a news release.  “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.”

The closely watched U.S. Senate features Democratic incumbent Patty Murray, Republican challenger Dino Rossi — a Sammamish resident, former gubernatorial candidate and former Issaquah state senator — plus Tea Party favorite Clint Didier.

“The Senate race is certainly a big draw, particularly now that it is on the national watchlists, and there are many great races all around the state,” Handy continued.

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