Top elections official predicts strong voter participation

October 17, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Oct. 17, 2012

The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, predicted strong voter participation in the Nov. 6 election, as counties started mailing ballots to voters Wednesday.

Statewide, county-level elections administrators sent more than 3.85 million ballots to registered voters. King County Elections is due to mail 1.16 million ballots.

Reed said intense interest in the contests for president and governor — plus ballot measures and other statewide races — should lead to strong voter participation.

“The presidential/gubernatorial election year always has the best turnout, and this year really has something for everyone,” he said in a statement. “We have a presidential race that is essentially tied at the national level and an open governor’s race that is very close and hotly contested.”

Washington voters must also choose candidates for statewide executive positions, including attorney general.

“Four of our eight partisan statewide offices are wide open, including governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor, and we’re having our first election ever for the new 10th Congressional District that we were awarded after the 2010 Census,” Reed said. “We’ll also elect new legislators, fill a U.S. Senate seat, elect our judges, and decide numerous local issues and races.”

Measures on the November ballot also attracted national attention to Washington.

“We have probably the most exciting assortment in the country this year — including everything from same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana to charter schools and supermajority for taxes,” Reed said. “I expect the initiatives to draw hordes of both supporters and opponents.”

In King County, voters must decide Proposition 1 — a property tax levy to renew regional fingerprinting services for police — and elect a sheriff.

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