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Because we're on the cutting edge of voting technology, Washington is only now certifying its election results, three weeks after the actual elections took place.

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Ballot-by-Mail Guilt-Trips More King County Residents Into Voting

guilty.jpg
Because we're on the cutting edge of voting technology, Washington is only now certifying its election results, three weeks after the actual elections took place. But that's OK! Because the added time it took to count all those mailed-in ballots was totally worth it, given that it meant more people in King County actually sent them back in.

Given that this is King County's first year with mailed-in ballots, it serves as a decent baseline for comparing turnout versus what it was like back in the day of voting booths. The difference: a lot more people voted this year than in 2006, the previous midterm election.

Turnout throughout the state was high. The 71.18% of registered voters who mailed in their ballots marks the highest number since 1970, and the jump in King County might have had a lot to do with that.

In 2006, only 65 percent of registered voters went to the booths. This year, that percentage jumped by nearly seven points. It's a bump you might attribute to the large spigot of secret cash opened up on the state this year. Or, if you're Secretary of State spokesperson David Ammons, it might have more to do with human nature.

"Voting by mail means a longer period of time for people to look at their ballots sitting on the kitchen table," he says. "Which means a longer time for them to feel guilty for not mailing it back in. I think that works in our favor."

 
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