OLYMPIA — Slightly more than one Washingotn voter in three will mail back that ballot that arrived in the mail today or over the weekend, Secretary of State Sam Reed estimates.
Reed issued a turnout prediction of 38 percent for the Aug. 17 primary, which would be up toward the high end of the historic range. The average for a non-presidential even-year primary is 34 percent, but the turnout in 2006 was 38 percent and conditions were pretty comparable to this year, he said.
Working in favor of better than average turnout is a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, an open Congressional seat in Southwest Washington’s 3rd District, some good legislative races around the state and some state Supreme Court races that can be decided in the primary, he said.
And there’s the energy the Tea Party movement seems to be bringing to the electorate and an anti-incumbent mood, State Elections Director Nick Handy added.
Spokane County Elections Office reports nearly 6,000 ballots back as of this morning, which is 2.3 percent of the 260,192 sent out.