King County turnout reached 84 percent in November election

November 28, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Tuesday after certifying the results.

Countywide, voters returned 993,908 ballots for about 84 percent turnout, a similar figure to the record turnout set during the 2008 presidential election, although the elections office received more ballots in 2012.

The county set records for registered voters — 1,170,638 — and for the number of ballots tallied on election night — about 556,000.

“Voters responded to our messaging this year and returned their ballots early,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We counted a record high of 556,000 ballots on election night and the number of ballots received too late to process was down 76 percent.”

Before Election Day, officials forecast 87 percent turnout countywide, enough to beat the record set in 2008. (The county relied on a combination of mail ballots and polling sites in the last presidential election.)

Though voters 993,908 ballots for the Nov. 6 contest, elections officials tabulated 978,377 due to ballots returned too late for inclusion or problems with voters’ signatures.

Overall, though, voters improved performance on signature-related issues. Officials said the effort to educate voters about signature issues resulted in fewer ballots requiring follow up action.

Turnout in both legislative districts encompassing Issaquah easily surpassed 80 percent.

In the 5th Legislative District, turnout reached 83 percent and in the neighboring 41st Legislative District, 84 percent of voters returned ballots.

Statewide, turnout reached the figure Secretary of State Sam Reed predicted before the election, 81 percent, based on intense interest in the contests for president, governor and statewide ballot measures.

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