In one of the stranger rituals of American elections, the officials who count the ballots predict how many people will vote.
This year, Secretary of State Sam Reed says 51 percent of registered voters (as opposed to eligible voters) will vote on or before next Tuesday. Interest in the ballot measures and the campaigns for and against them should boost turnout.
Reed used the prediction to beat the drum, yet again, for vote-by-mail.
And what are voters supposed to make of that prediction? Does it encourage more of them to join in the fun? Does it have any impact at all? Probably not. But they make the prediction and we write stories – and blog items – about it.
For the record, Reed predicted that 34 percent of Washington voters would take part in the first-ever August primary. He shot high – only 28 percent actually took part in a very uninspiring primary.