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.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Friendly Pacific NW rivalry: Oregon catches — and passes! — Washington’s voter turnout

Yesterday evening, we reported here on the Cascadia Advocate that Washington’s voter turnout was surging, with 44.9% of ballots returned, while Oregon, the vote-at-home pioneer, was lagging somewhat behind at just 39.8%.

Well, not anymore.

Oregon has really stepped up its turnout since its last report and has rocketed past Washington to a 49% ballot return rate statewide. Washington hasn’t been sitting still, though… its turnout is now up to 47.6%, and should surpass 50% by tonight.

Washington is still in a position to do just as well, if not better, than Oregon on turnout this year, which is really important, because Washington’s voter turnout has historically not been as good as Oregon’s in midterm years like these.

Many Oregon counties have now passed the hugely important milestone of 50%, including Multnomah, the state’s largest, which is two and a half points ahead of the state as a whole, turnout-wise. Lane County, home to Eugene, is also ahead of the state average with 49.5% turnout as of the most recent report.

Other big Oregon counties remain under 50%. Washington County, in the Portland metro area, has only 41.7% turnout. Clackmas is much closer to majority voter turnout with 48.6% of ballots returned. Marion is currently clocking in at 44.8%.

In terms of votes by party, 60.2% of registered Democratic voters in Oregon have returned their ballots, compared to 59.4% of registered Republicans.

In Washington State, many counties have also surpassed 50% turnout. Kitsap has crossed over to majority turnout territory, as have Cowlitz and Whatcom.

King County is getting ready to join them, with 48.8% of ballots in.

Snohomish County, meanwhile, is in last place among the state’s larger counties, with just 40.3% of ballots returned. Even perennial turnout laggard Pierce County has passed Snohomish at this point. Hopefully Snohomish has a strong finish.

Tiny Columbia County is currently the turnout leader with 66.3%. Jefferson is in second place with 63.4%. Most of the others in the top ten are all small counties, some in Western Washington and some in Eastern Washington.

Last place belongs to Douglas County (37.8%).

Yakima County is second last, with 38.2% turnout.

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