Not since 1970 have so many people turned out in a Washington State primary like the one that just ended on Aug. 17 (that is, a relatively dull, even-year primary in which there was no presidential election to get voters excited).

With ballots still being counted, turnout is currently at 40 percent statewide. And, says state Elections Director Nick Handy, the final statewide turnout figure will probably be slightly higher: around 41 percent. That's well above the 38 percent statewide turnout that had been predicted by the Secretary of State.

Nice. But let's use this information to adjust at least one misconception that may be floating around out there: King County is not the county with the highest turnout in this election:

The top four counties for turnout so far in this year’s Primary are Wahkiakum (64 percent), San Juan (63.2 percent), Columbia (62.2 percent) and Lincoln (60.9 percent). The four counties with the lowest turnout so far are Pierce (35.3 percent), King (37), Yakima (37.11) and Snohomish (37.15).

Sure, the three counties of the greater Seattle metropolitan area—King, Pierce, and Snohomish, all in the "lowest turnout" category for this primary because of their relatively low ratio of actual primary voters to eligible registered voters—still cast a sizable, outcome-shaping number of ballots.

Of the 1,451,569 primary ballots counted so far, a total of 687,703 came from King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. To put that another way: though turnout was low in those three counties, they accounted for 47 percent of all ballots cast in this election.

But, imagine if primary turnout had been higher in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. Given the clout of these counties, it's easy to envision a scenario in which they pushed Patty Murray's margin of victory up by enough that she garnered more than 50 percent of the vote (which would have immediately altered the "troubled incumbent" narrative that dogs her) and, perhaps, boosted Rumbaugh in his run against anti-gay-marriage Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson—and, even more plausibly, pushed Charlie Wiggins ahead of anti-gay-marriage Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders.

Which leads to the obvious question: Why did so many eligible voters in the greater Seattle metro area—that is to say, so many liberal voters—sit this primary election out?