About 10 percent of student participants in the annual Washington state Mock Election hailed from Thurston County.
Now in its 11th year, the Mock Election is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of State. Online voting was held all week and results were posted Friday.
Students voted on two state initiatives: I-1366, which would make it harder for the Legislature to raise taxes, and I-1401, which prohibits the sale of endangered animals and their body parts.
Thurston County teens also voted on the two races for Port of Olympia commissioner.
A total of 9,951 ballots were cast statewide, with 1,032 ballots in Thurston County. The Thurston County city with the most participating students was Tumwater with 534 ballots cast, followed by Lacey with 373 total ballots, and Olympia with 63 total ballots.
Thurston County students went against the grain on this initiative, which would amend the state constitution to require a two-thirds super-majority vote in the Legislature to raise any tax.
Statewide, students passed Tim Eyman’s anti-tax initiative with 51.51 percent voting yes and 48.49 percent voting no. However, Thurston County students rejected the measure, with 48.9 percent voting yes and 51.1 percent voting no.
Thurston County students overwhelmingly approved this measure with 77.5 percent voting yes and 22.5 percent voting no. I-1401 would make it illegal to sell or trade most ivory in Washington and is part of a campaign to stop the market for 10 endangered animals, including elephants.
Statewide, the measure passed with 76 percent voting yes and 24 percent voting no.
PORT OF OLYMPIA
Thurston County students voted on two races for Port of Olympia commissioner.
In the race for District 1, students picked Joe Downing with 57 percent (462 votes) over George L. Barner Jr. with 43 percent (348 votes).
For District 3, students selected E.J. Zita with 58 percent (472 votes) over Jerry Farmer with 42 percent (339 votes).
VOTING FOR ADULTS
The Thurston County Auditor sent real mail-in ballots Oct. 14 to registered voters. As of Friday afternoon, the auditor’s office reports that about 14.7 percent of Thurston County ballots — 24,208 out of 164,547 ballots — have been returned so far.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman has predicted a 46 percent statewide turnout in the general election. Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall expects a slightly lower turnout in her jurisdiction.
Hall urges voters to ensure their ballots are postmarked no later than Tuesday. Every year, hundreds of ballots are postmarked the day after the election, possibly because the ballots were mailed after the postal service’s final pickup time.
“It you’re voting late, the safer bet is to use a drop box,” Hall said. “It’s very painful to receive those ballots and not be able to count them.”
Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 or submitted to one of 26 ballot drop boxes in the county by 8 p.m. that day. More information is available at co.thurston.wa.us/auditor.