The primary election is tomorrow. Have you voted?
Primary voter turnout is usually low. Primary turnout during a global pandemic? Well, I can't say I have high hopes. But, as of last week, statewide voter turnout was 7.6 percent higher than it was at that point before the primary in 2016.
Still, this election matters. The president is trying to discredit vote-by-mail as he drives the country further into the pandemic-infested deep end, and Washington state is staring down the barrel of years of budget holes. The election on Tuesday, August 4 (TOMORROW) will decide which state representatives we want to navigate those deficits.
King County Elections officials are anticipating 43 percent voter turnout. In 2016, there was a 37 percent turnout. But, last week, only 15 percent of King County voters had returned ballots, which was below projections for this year's primary. While more voters have turned out since then, numbers are still below where election officials thought they'd be at this point.
According to Kendall Hodson, the chief of staff at King County Elections, as of Monday morning, only 27 percent of voters had returned ballots versus the 29 percent Hodson and her team had been banking on.
"It will be interesting to see what drop box returns look like today and tomorrow," Hodson told The Stranger, "as we’ve seen such huge Monday and Tuesday usage of those in recent elections."
For all you procrastinators, or everyone who has forgotten there's still an election to be had, make sure you mail in your ballot today or consider physically bringing it to a post office tomorrow to make sure it gets postmarked on August 4. If it doesn't get processed in time, it will be too late.
Luckily, there are ballot boxes all over the county. There are 24 in Seattle alone and they're open until 8 p.m. on election night. Historically, the first ballot drop tomorrow night will only factor in the ballots received by Monday night. Everything that comes in via mail or ballot drop box on Tuesday won't be counted until Wednesday at the earliest. So if you want your vote to count early, vote by today.
And remember, you can still vote if you don't have a ballot or haven't registered.
Washington is on track to blow 2016's primary numbers out of the water. So far, statewide, 21.4 percent of Washingtonians have voted. At this time in 2016, that number was at 13.8 percent. The final turnout in 2016 was 35 percent. It's not too late to read our endorsements and get those numbers up. Hell, maybe we'll break 40 percent statewide.