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How many ballots are still out there?

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Nov. 3, 2010 at 10:33 am | 15 Comments »
November 3, 2010 10:41 am

Washington elections officials logged the results of more than 1.4 million ballots Tuesday.

If predictions of 66 percent voter turnout hold up — and Secretary of State Sam Reed said Tuesday night he stands by that forecast — there are less than a million ballots left to count.

More than 500,000 ballots are already sitting at elections offices, waiting to be counted. Many more will come in the mail today, from those who waited until Election Day to vote. (King County alone expects to receive more than 120,000 ballots today.) Tens of thousands more will dribble in over the days that follow.

So who will those favor? It’s hard to say, but King is key.

Sen. Patty Murray leads there with 62 percent. Campaign manager Jeff Bjornstad argued to reporters she is likely to keep an overwhelming lead in the remaining King ballots.

Dino Rossi campaign manager Pat Shortridge points out that only a quarter of the ballots already sitting uncounted at election offices are in King. Since King accounts for 30 percent of all voters in the state, he argues King will count proportionately fewer ballots from now on than the rest of the state.

But ballots will keep pouring in. If state and King County turnout predictions both are borne out, King will account for more than 36 percent of remaining ballots (346,000 out of 942,000), so it will count proportionately more than the rest of the state.

Still, we don’t know how late voters in any county will compare to early voters. There’s nothing left to do but wait.

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