Secretary of State Sam Reed has issued a press release comparing voter turnout rates throughout the state in WA’s first ever August primary, and well, it really doesn’t contain any surprises.
The 2007 State Primary demonstrates that the people of Washington prefer to vote at home.
Among the poll-site counties of King, Kittitas, and Pierce, the projected overall turnout is 25%. Turnout in the state’s two largest counties, King and Pierce, was driven down by poll voters. Combined turnout for poll voters in King and Pierce is expected to reach only 8%, while combined turnout for those voting by mail is likely to reach 33%.
“When voters receive their ballots at their homes, they are more likely to vote,” said Handy. “The 25% turnout difference between poll voters and vote-by-mail voters in King and Pierce really underscores why counties in Washington are moving to vote-by-mail.”
It also underscores why many Republicans, like our good friend Stefan, adamantly oppose King County’s proposed move to all vote-by-mail, as the status quo clearly gives Republicans a demonstrable advantage in statewide elections by depressing the turnout in the state’s most populous and Democratic county. And they seem totally unconcerned by the hypocrisy of bemoaning King’s status as the only county without an elected elections director, at the same time they fight tooth and nail to make it the only county without all vote-by-mail.
I’m guessing there might be a Republican-championed election reform whose goal or effect hasn’t been to depress or even suppress the vote, but none immediately comes to mind.