Of Washington’s 39 counties, only one – Cowlitz – had worse turnout (20.59 percent) than Pierce County (23.5 percent), according to the secretary of state’s office. To see a statewide chart, click here.
Best turnout? That would be tiny Wahkiakum County with 62 percent, followed by Columbia with 57.9, Garfield with 55.2 and Lincoln with 54.1.
One explanation could be that Pierce County hasn’t gone over to all-mail voting like every other county. About 75 percent of Pierce County voters vote by mail, but there are still 58 polling places for those who want to vote in person.
Auditor Pat McCarthy submitted a proposal to the Pierce County Council this summer to switch to an all-mail voting system. The adoption of ranked-choice voting for some county offices will make it more cumbersome to offer both in-person and mail-in voting, she argues.