Reed predicts turnout for Washington’s final September Primary - Record number of mail ballots to be sent
News Release Issued: August 15, 2006
Olympia...Election workers across the state are preparing to distribute a record number of mail ballots in state history as Washington prepares for its final September Primary. This year, Washington will send more than 2 million mail ballots to voters across the state. The figure is an estimate as mail requests are accepted until the day before the Primary.
According to state law, all requested mail ballots must be sent by Friday, September 1. The State Primary will be held September 19.
"The ballots arriving at households statewide are filled with important county and state offices," said Secretary of State Sam Reed. "In particular, the 2006 Primary will decide crucial judicial races. I urge all voters to weigh in as Washington holds its last September primary."
Starting in 2007, Washington's Primary will advance four weeks to August following legislation proposed by Reed and passed by the Washington State Legislature earlier this year.
Overall, Reed expects 35 percent of the State's 3.3 million registered voters to participate in the upcoming, September 19 Primary and 80 to 85 percent of those citizens to cast their ballots by mail.
Currently, 34 counties in Washington hold all-mail elections. In the counties with operational poll sites which include King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Island, and Pierce, an estimated 67 percent of the electorate will still cast a mail ballot.
Choose one political party for partisan votes
Reed reminds voters that Washington will conduct a pick-a-party primary next month. In a pick-a-party primary voters must choose one political party and only vote for that party's candidates. Nonpartisan races are open to all voters. On consolidated ballots, voters much check a box acknowledging their political party ballot selection for this election for their partisan votes to count.
ID required at poll sites
Citizens may vote at the polls from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on September 19. They must present valid identification such as: a photo ID, driver license, state ID card, student ID card, tribal ID card, or voter registration card. Other documentation may be accepted. Go to www.secstate.wa.gov/elections for more information. A voter who does not have ID will be issued a provisional ballot..
Reed's turnout prediction is consistent with previous primaries. In even year, non-presidential primaries, turnout has hovered in the mid-thirties while increasing in primaries during presidential years.