The Washington Secretary of State’s Office has estimated that 81 percent of registered voters will cast a ballot in Washington this week. King County estimates turnout will be about 87 percent.
But if past presidential elections are any indication, it seems unlikely that both will prove true.
In every presidential race since 1996, there has never been more than a 2.4 percent difference between statewide and King County turnout, according to a review of turnout data by The Seattle Times.
In fact, in most years, turnout statewide and in the state’s largest county were within a single percentage of one another. Only in 1996 was the difference more than 1 percent. But even in that year it was nowhere near the 6 percent difference predicted for today’s election.
Here are the the final turnout percentages statewide and in King County for the past four presidential elections.
2008 84.6% 83.9%
2004 82.2% 83.1%
2000 75.5% 74.5%
1996 74.5% 76.9%