Votes are trickling in slower than expected in our first all mail-in primary. King County Elections originally predicted 35 percent turnout in Seattle and 33 percent countywide. Politics junkies can actually track the daily count for ballots returned. As of last night, 11.13 percent of Seattle's ballots and 11.25 percent of the county ballots over all have made it back to the elections office. Elections spokesperson Kim van Ekstrom says that's a lower rate than the office planned for. "The ballots coming in are not coming in as fast as we had thought," she says.
The municipality doing the best so far is the tiny town of Skykomish. You have to drive through Snohomish County to get there, making it easy to forget they actually exist in King County. It's the kind of sleepy little town that uses their jail to store office supplies. So far 27 of their 140 registered voters have turned in ballots for to-date turnout of 19.29 percent.But despite the low rate-of-return, van Ekstrom says, the office isn't revising its estimate since it's possible a bunch of people will mail their ballots in on the last day. Really no one quite knows what to expect from this election and its making things like predicting turnout and polling a little complicated.
But if you do want to vote (and you should) you have until next Tuesday to send in the ballot. Van Eckstrom emphasizes that anyone wanting to save the stamp and throw their ballot in one of the drop box locations has to do so by 8 p.m. on Aug. 18. If you're willing to shell out the cash for a stamp, your ballot just needs to be post-marked by the 18th.