While the crowded Seattle mayoral race was expected to drive up turnout, so far less than 20 percent of registered voters have returned their ballots, as of last check Tuesday afternoon.
King County Elections predicts a surge of returns Tuesday. However, currently the elections office is not on pace to meet its projected primary turnout of 38 percent.
Voters faced with not only an early August Primary but an overwhelming amount of choice. Twenty one candidates are running for Seattle mayor alone.
“It's a good field; it's a very good field,” said Seattle voter David Mark dropping off his ballot Monday.
“It was a challenge because you don't see so many candidates running for office, usually,” said voter Shoba Sriaiyer sorting through the candidates. “More people are getting politically active and aware, more involved, so I think it's a good thing.”
“It was a difficult decision; there were several people who we felt were qualified,” said voter Richard Dahl.
While Dahl finally made a decision, Chukundi Salisbury of UrbVote, a group that works on voter engagement, worries the sheer volume of candidates is making the decision more difficult.
“When there's too many choices, sometimes people make no choice,” said Salisbury. "That's the challenge right now, especially in the primary. I'm finding there's too many great candidates.”
The six front runners in the 21 person Seattle mayoral race spent the weekend attending a final forum, community events and campaigning for votes in all corners of the city.
The first drop of returns is expected around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Only two will make it on to November, a decision made by the primary voters who turn out.
“I think it's important no matter what time it is. These are decisions that are affecting us in the community. If you don't voice your opinion, it's not going to make a difference,” said voter Anne Kang.
The deadline to return your ballot is 8 p.m. Tuesday, if dropped at a drop box location. If you're relying on mail, you need to make sure it's postmarked Tuesday.
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