Secretary Reed predicts 51 percent voter turnout

Secretary of State Sam Reed announced today his turnout prediction for the November 6 General Election. Reed expects 51 percent...

Secretary of State Sam Reed announced today his turnout prediction for the November 6 General Election. Reed expects 51 percent of registered voters to cast ballots.

“Across the state voters will decide many crucial statewide measures,” remarked Reed. “More people vote at home than ever before and we know without a doubt voting by mail increases turnout.”

Reed expects a favorable turnout for an odd-year election due to the fact that more counties have switched to all-mail voting. Thirty-six of thirty-nine counties are now voting entirely by mail. In the September Primary, 95 percent of registered voters who cast ballots did so by mail.

Citizens will vote on one referendum, one initiative, and four constitutional amendments. Statewide measures on the ballot include:

— I-960: Tax and fee increases

— R-67: Insurance claims

— Constitutional amendment 8206: Establishing a budget stabilization account

— Constitutional amendment 8212: Inmate labor

— Constitutional amendment 4204: School district tax levies

— Constitutional amendment 4215: Investment of higher education permanent funds

Hot races are on the ballot in many counties across the state. Important issues include Proposition 1 in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties to fund roads and transit; I-25 in King County to allow the King County Director of Elections to be elected rather than appointed; and the closely watched King County Prosecutor’s race. In Spokane County, voters will elect the city mayor and several city council members. In other counties across the state, voters will determine State Senators, port commissioners, school board members, county assessors, and treasurers.

“Local races affect our schools, roads, ports and many county seats,” said Reed. “Some races may be very close. It is crucial voters take the time to really study the races and issues, and most importantly, they take the time to vote.”

The last seven odd-year general elections averaged a 51 percent turnout.Citizens who cast ballots by mail must have their ballots postmarked on or before Election Day. Reed strongly urged voters to mail their ballots prior to Election Day and to check with their County Auditor for drop-off times and locations. For county election offices contact information visit http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/auditors.aspx .

In King, Kittitas, and Pierce Counties, voters may cast their ballots by mail or at the polls. Polls will be open from 7:00am to 8:00pm on Nov. 6. Poll voters must present valid identification such as a photo ID, driver’s license, state ID card, student ID card, tribal ID card, or voter registration card. Other documentation may be accepted under the law. Visit http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/polling.aspx for more information. Voters who do not have ID will be issued a provisional ballot.

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