Casting one’s vote in a public election is a right enshrined in our constitution. The degree to which citizens freely exercise this right is viewed as a litmus test of a democratic society. Yet, even if most citizens are registered to vote, a small voter turnout can still occur. A plurality, ideally a large plurality, should characterize any election in order for elected leaders and for laws established by a vote of the people to have legitimacy. Unfortunately, this ideal is not always realized, though recent presidential elections have shown high turnouts.
This indicator measures the turn-out rate among registered voters for November elections in Chelan and Douglas counties, both individually and combined.
The three different types of elections offered are: presidential, mid-term and off-year.
Where are we?
During 2017, the share of registered voters who cast a ballot during the off-year election in:
- Chelan and Douglas counties combined was 34.5 percent, decreasing from 61.3 percent in 1998.
- Chelan County was 38.1 percent, decreasing from 61.8 percent in 1999.
- Douglas County was 31 percent, decreasing from 60.2 percent in 1999.
- Washington state was 37.1 percent, decreasing from 56.7 percent in 1998.
During 2016, the share of registered voters who cast a ballot during the presidential election in:
- Chelan and Douglas counties combined was 79.3 percent, increasing from 77.5 percent in 2000.
- Chelan County was 80.4 percent, decreasing from 82.2 percent in 2000.
- Douglas County was 76.9 percent, increasing from 68.8 percent in 2000.
- Washington state was 78.8 percent, increasing from 75.5 percent in 2000.
During 2014, the share of registered voters who cast a ballot during the mid-term election in:
- Chelan and Douglas counties combined was 58.2 percent, decreasing from 60.3 percent in 2002.
- Chelan County was 58.6 percent, decreasing from 62.3 percent in 1999.
- Douglas County was 57.1 percent, increasing from 56.4 percent in 2002.
- Washington state was 54.2 percent, decreasing from 62.2 percent in 1998.
Source: State Office of the Secretary of State: Elections and Voting