Clark County voter apathy: From No. 1 to No. 11

We can’t even do apathy well.

While Clark County had the lowest voter turnout in the August primary, voters here weren’t as aggressively apathetic in the November general election. Our turnout in August was 30.66 percent of registered voters, compared to the state average of 37.11 percent.

Our turnout in November was 79.58 percent, shy of the state average of 81.25 percent.

In turns of apathy, we dropped from No. 1 to No. 11 out of 39 counties.

Maybe county elections chief Tim Likness’ theory is right: So few county residents vote in the primary because they get all their news from Portland TV stations and since Oregon has an earlier primary, they don’t realize there is a primary election. (Nevermind that the county sends ballots in the mail, so it really is difficult to be so clueless as to not even know there’s an election. Which leads us back to people knowing there is an election, and they just don’t care.)

Those lazy cats in Yakima County took our apathy crown, with only 73.67 percent of voters bothering to fill out a November ballot. Standing between us and Yakima to take the title of Most Apathetic? Asotin, Adams, Cowlitz, Ferry, Franklin, Grant, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pierce.

The title of Least Apathetic goes to San Juan County, which had a voter turnout of 89.39 percent. Jefferson, Columbia, Lincoln and Island rounded out the top 5 counties in terms of turnout.

King County, which we know dictates everything, had a voter turnout of 83.58 percent. King County’s 978,377 voters accounted for almost one-third of all ballots counted statewide, 30.8 percent to be precise.

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at or 360-735-4508.

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