Small turnout predicted for WA's first early primary - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Small turnout predicted for WA's first early primary

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SEATTLE (AP) - Washington state's new early primary election tomorrow features a wide-open race for King County prosecutor, an open Seattle City Council seat, another open seat on the Seattle School Board and a King County parks levy.

But elections officials predict that all the races combined will only stir enough civic pride to prompt about 1 of 3 eligible voters to cast a ballot.

As of last week, King County Elections officials had received 107,000 ballots, a turnout of about 17% and a little more than half of the total they expect will be mailed by tomorrow's deadline.

But it still will be a big victory for Secretary of State Sam Reed, because unlike the low turnout in years past, tomorrow's state primary is the first to be held in August.

Reed predicted a statewide turnout similar to King County's: 34% of more than 3 million registered voters. He pushed the Legislature to move the election back four weeks from the traditional date in September.

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