Responding to an email query, King County Elections Communications Director Kim van Ekstrom reports that 9,300 new ballots were received at their Tukwila headquarters today, but only about 1,900 had postmarks that indicated they were mailed on time.
That strikes me as a pretty big number of late postmarks, and while they won’t be counted in the final results, they are useful when considering turnout as a reflection on voter enthusiasm, which looks to have been not all that bad. In fact, in both percentage and raw numbers, this primary looks to be second in turnout only to the 2004 primary, at least over the 12 years for which the county provides data online.
As for who is turning out in King County, it’s hard to say, but given the numbers in Eastside legislative races, it certainly looks to be skewing a bit more Republican than it has in recent years. That said, the best apples-to-apples comparison I can think of is 2008’s top two primary, which had only slightly lower turnout numbers, and in which Gov. Gregoire led Dino Rossi 60 to 31 percent. Patty Murray currently leads Rossi here 58 to 28 percent.
Gregoire went on to beat Rossi in November by a 64 to 36 point margin amongst King County voters. Make of that what you will.