NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting 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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