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: 37173⁄121139 (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!