After hovering at pathetically low levels as election day approached, voter turnout in Cowlitz County closed with a rush early this week and ended above average, Cowlitz County election officials Wednesday.
Auditor Carolyn Fundingsland said turnout was “dismal” until the county received a rush of ballots Monday and Tuesday, and balloting will end up approaching 42%.
“This is a great turnout,” she said Wednesday. “We were hoping ... voters were taking time to study the measures and would return their ballots, and that appears to be what’s happening.”
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The average voter turnout in the last three odd-year elections was 36%. In 2011, the turnout was an out-of-the-ordinary 52%.
Fundingsland said she speculates that issues often drive voter turnout, but that’s not always the case. She said there appeared to be a lot of interest in this year’s election after a “crazy” filing week in May.
The high volume of late ballots will take the elections office several days to process, Fundingsland said.