Voter turnout shatters 1 million mark in King County

KING 5's Michelle Li reports.

RENTON - For the first time, more than a million ballots were returned in King County for the presidential election-- in fact, the number reached 1,060,000.

Despite those numbers, voter turnout was actually down. This presidential election saw 82-percent turnout, which is down from 84-percent in 2012 and 2008. That's because each election the county saw about 100,000 new registered voters.

Counting is still not over, though. Election workers have until the end of November to certify votes. In this last push they're counting 90,000 ballots that require an actual person to determine the vote. That may include write-in ballots or a mark that couldn't be determined by a scanner.

"Some people think, 'Aren't you done? Isn't the election over?' I think my family even thinks that but that's not true," says Julie Wise, director of King County Elections. "We're still working long hours and on the weekend to make sure that we get every ballot counted.

Track your ballot

Typically about 3-percent of ballots get challenged because of a signature or something like that. If that's the case, voters will get a letter in the mail which they must return by November 28. Election workers will follow up with each challenged ballot but typically about 60-percent of those challenged ballots get cured. It begs the question -- if people didn't like the outcome of the election, will they return their challenged ballot?

"I think people are probably over this election in many ways," says Wise. "I really hope that people will respond but I think that there are probably some people that are maybe not going to follow back up with us."

Ballots must be certified by November 29.

Other takeaways:

  • No race in King County is within recount range, which is 150 ballots
  • More than half of ballots were returned by ballot boxes
  • The county quadrupled the number of ballot boxes available this election

Copyright 2016 KING


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