Hot on the heals of my post about the presumed “enthusiasm gap” and it’s apparent lack of substantial impact on voter turnout in last week’s primary, The Stranger’s Eli Sanders has a somewhat different take, noticing the record high statewide turnout compared to the lagging performance of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties:
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?
Which I suppose seems obvious, except that Eli phrased the question slightly wrong. The real question is not why so many Seattle metro voters sat out “this” primary election, but why they sit out all primary elections?
In fact, this was actually a pretty good showing by King County primary voters, registering our second highest turnout rate over the 12 years for which KC Elections archives results online. And as I’ve previously pointed out, King County always trails the rest of the state in primary turnout, often by substantially larger margins.
So there’s nothing particularly surprising or disappointing about Tuesday’s turnout.
But while our region’s turnout always trails the rest of the state in primary elections, it’s almost alway within a point or two of the statewide average, give or take, when it comes to the November general election.
Speculate all you want about the reasons why, but it has nothing to do with this particular election cycle.