Turnout in August election failed to meet expectations

September 7, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Turnout in the August election reached the highest level for a primary in six years, but participation did not meet pre-election estimates.

The all-mail election attracted 39 percent of King County voters. King County Elections had forecast 45 percent turnout before the election. The office tallied 421,157 ballots.

The county Canvassing Board met Sept. 1 to certify the results of the Aug. 17 contest.

“We saw a respectable rate of participation considering this was not a presidential election year,” county Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a news release. “We were able to process ballots very efficiently and got some great support from many voters who returned their ballots early.”

Some ballots could not be counted due to issues with the voter signature. Ballots returned after Election Day — 8,800 in all — could not be counted.

Ballots for the Nov. 2 general election go into the mail Oct. 13. The deadline to update voter registration information for the election is Oct. 4. People can register in person through Oct. 25.

The final results of the primary differed little from earlier tallies.

State Rep. Glenn Anderson retained a large lead against David Spring — 58 percent of the vote for the Fall City Republican legislator, compared to 25 percent for Spring, a North Bend Democrat. The candidates faced off to represent the 5th Legislative District in 2008.

State Rep. Judy Clibborn preserved a commanding lead against Bellevue Republican Stephen Strader — 56 percent for the Mercer Island Democrat and 38 percent for Strader.

Newcastle attorney Donna Tucker and Redmond City Prosecutor Larry Mitchell headed into the race for a post on the King County District Court bench — 45 percent for Tucker to 34 percent for Mitchell.

The court handles traffic infractions, misdemeanor criminal offenses and some civil cases. The district includes Issaquah and most of eastern and northeastern King County.

The elections office plans to release the results of precinct committee officer races Sept. 13. The officers serve as local party representative in their neighborhoods.

Aug. 17 election by the numbers
-1,082,173 ballots issued to King County voters
-421,157 ballots returned
-11,569 ballots returned at ballot drop boxes
-409,314 ballots returned through the mail
-274 ballots cast at Accessible Voting Centers
-2,223 ballots returned by military and overseas voters
-406,391 ballots counted
-0 discrepancies between ballots received and ballots tabulated
-8,800 ballots returned too late to be opened
-6,646 total calls to the Voter Hotline
-1,772 calls to the Voter Hotline about updating registration, the most common reason for calls

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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