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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Washington voter numbers set record

OLYMPIA – Washington voter rolls swelled to 4.2 million Monday after the state set successive one-day records for registrations that were aided by campaigns on the Internet.

If historic trends hold, those new voters are highly likely to cast ballots in next month’s election, Stuart Holmes, of the state elections office said.

“People who register in August, September and October are much more likely to vote in November,” Holmes said. Shortly after registering, they receive the state voter’s guide in the mail, and then their ballot, which helps keeps voting “fresh in your mind,” he added.

Using the state's registration website, a total of 27,601 people signed up to vote Monday. That was a new record, breaking one set just a day earlier by more than 4,000 registrations. In those two days alone, some 50,000 people registered to vote. 

Based on answers of new voters who signed up on website, many of the registrations were spurred by a promotion on Facebook, Holmes said. The Google’s Chrome browser also had a pop up reminder, and several organizations including Rock the Vote had registration drives.

The elections office hasn’t had time to do any analysis of the new voters to determine if they are heavily weighted to a particular age group or area of the state.

This is the first time voter registrations have topped 4.2 million, the secretary of state's office says. Washington went over the 4 million mark just seven months ago.

The current number of 4,207,379 voters is expected to rise before the election for several reasons. Voters could also mail in registration forms through Monday, and those and some online registration applications are still being processed. Eligible citizens who missed the online deadline can still register by going to their county elections office and signing up in person through Oct. 31.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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