As of this morning, the Pierce County Auditor’s Office had received 151,114 ballots, or about 36 percent of the ballots issued.
Compared to the August primary election of 2008 – the last presidential election year - the numbers are down. However, the numbers are somewhat skewed, as Pierce County still allowed people to physically vote at the polls at the time. Now, it’s all by mail.
Compared to last year’s primary election – during which Pierce County had started conducting elections exclusively by absentee ballot – voter turnout is about the same.
Elections manager Mike Rooney said the county now expects a return of about 40 percent of the ballots, down from the 48 percent it originally projected.
Other counties are also seeing lower-than-normal turnout.
Rooney said the primary date this year, which was moved up about two weeks, might also be contributing to the turnout.
Secretary of State Sam Reed had predicted a statewide primary turnout of 46 percent. According to an Associated Press story posted Wednesday, Reed's office now wonders whether the primary should be pushed back to June when more people are at home. However, it would have to be Secretary of State candidates Kim Wyman or Kathleen Drew who would implement any changes -- Reed is leaving office at the end of his term.
Does the turnout surprise you? If you didn't vote, do you regret it now? Tell us in the comments below.