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Mid-term turnout prediction for WA: 66%

OLYMPIA- About two out of three voters in Washington will cast ballots in the general election, Secretary of State Sam Reed predicted today.

That would be above average for the last four decades, and the most for a mid-term election since 1970. Four years ago, the mid-term general election turnout was 64.6 percent.

Reed and Elections Director Nick Handy have several reasons for guessing on the high side.

--There's a hot U.S. Senate race between Patty Murray and Dino Rossi.
--There's a lot of voter interest in general around the country.
--There's a boatload of statewide initiatives.
--The primary generated a modern record in September.
--King County, the state's most populous, has switched over to all-mail voting.

It's still off considerably from 2008, when the state hit a record of 85 percent.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.