NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Winnowing election update: Not many ballots tabulated today; little to report

It looks like the turnout in the August 2011 win­now­ing elec­tion has crest­ed.

In the days fol­low­ing elec­tion night, we saw steady improve­ment in the ratio of bal­lots cast to reg­is­tered vot­ers. But the num­bers hard­ly changed at all today. On Fri­day, the turnout ratio in the King Coun­ty Coun­cil Dis­trict #6 race was 30.37%. Today, it only reached 30.69%. So we’re guess­ing that final turnout coun­ty­wide for this elec­tion is prob­a­bly going to be some­where in the vicin­i­ty of 32%.

Here’s where things stand in the coun­ty coun­cil race:

Bal­lots Cast/Registered Vot­ers: 37173121139 (30.69%)
Pat­sy Bon­in­con­tri: 7.24% (2,541 votes)
Richard E. Mitchell: 30.11% (10,568 votes)
Jane Hague: 37.92% (13,309 votes)
John Creighton: 24.33% (8,538 votes)
Write-in: 0.39% (137 votes)

Richard Mitchell has once again strength­ened his lead over John Creighton and nar­rowed the gap between him­self and Jane Hague — but only by a lit­tle.

Because so few bal­lots were tab­u­lat­ed today, hard­ly any­thing has changed in the city coun­cil races or school board races either.

The King Coun­ty can­vass­ing board is due to con­vene on August 31st to cer­ti­fy the final elec­tion results. Returns will con­tin­ue to be updat­ed each week­day until then, but if today is any indi­ca­tion, Fri­day was the last sig­nif­i­cant update.

King Coun­ty Elec­tions expects a trick­le of bal­lots between now and the Wednes­day after this one, many of those com­ing from over­seas.

About 11,000 bal­lots cast in the 2011 win­now­ing elec­tion have sig­na­ture issues, NPI has learned. A fair num­ber of those have already been tak­en care of, but there are some that elec­tions work­ers are still work­ing on.

Although turnout in this elec­tion is low com­pared to what we’ve seen in recent gen­er­al elec­tions (2008, 2009, 2010) it’s high com­pared to pre­vi­ous win­now­ing and pri­ma­ry elec­tions held in odd-num­bered years.

Turnout in the 2009 win­now­ing elec­tion was only 31.56%. Turnout in the 2007 pri­ma­ry (which was a real pri­ma­ry) was even low­er, at 24.92%. The 2005 pri­ma­ry was 29.68%, and the 2003 pri­ma­ry was 29.54%.

So, if we end up at around 32% or slight­ly less, we’ll have sur­passed turnout for an odd-year win­now­ing or pri­ma­ry elec­tion going back to at least the 1990s… despite not hav­ing many high-pro­file con­tests on the bal­lot. Not a bad show­ing!

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