Pierce County – which traditionally has had lower-than-average voter turnout among Washington counties – is poised for a turnaround in the Aug. 7 primary election, Auditor Julie Anderson told reporters in a conference call this morning.
Anderson and Elections Manager Mike Rooney said their office is predicting that 48 percent of the county’s registered voters will cast ballots in the election – which tops the Secretary of State’s prediction of a 46 turnout statewide.
The county’s prediction, if realized, would also far exceed the 41 percent primary turnout posted by Pierce County voters in the last presidential election year.
County elections officials say they have seen a trend of increasing voter participation over the last 18 months. Anderson said she’s not ready to attribute the rising popularity to the transition to all-mail voting forced on the county by the state Legislature, but she says it could be a contributor.
Another factor leading elections officials to predict high turnout is the large number of contested races this year.