Republicans appear to lead in early turnout in Island County
November 3, 2008 · Updated 12:29 PM
Republicans appear to have the edge in early turnout in the 2008 election, according to a Record analysis of ballots returned through Oct. 31.
More ballots have been returned from precincts that have historically voted Republican in the previous two presidential elections than those mailed in from precincts that have voted for the Democratic presidential candidates in 2000 and 2004.
The number of ballots returned in historically right-leaning precincts total 14,194.
The number of ballots returned in historically left-leaning precincts total 9,542.
Right-leaning precincts were defined as precincts where a majority of voters cast ballots for the GOP-nominated presidential candidate in 2000 and 2004, and Republican Dino Rossi for governor in 2004.
Left-leaning precincts were defined as precincts where a majority of voters cast ballots for the Democratic Party-nominated presidential candidates in 2000 and 2004, and Christine Gregoire for governor in 2004.
The analysis did not include precincts where Republicans, or Democrats, failed to gain the most votes for presidential candidates in the 2000 and 2004 elections, or precincts where a majority of voters split their ballot between a presidential candidate from one party and a candidate for governor from the opposite party in 2004.
Those precincts include:
Oak Harbor 7, a precinct that voted for Al Gore in 2000 but voted for George Bush in 2004;
Prairie, a Central Whidbey precinct that voted for Bush in 2000 but John Kerry in 2004;
Double Bluff, a precinct that voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004;
Bush Point, a precinct carried by Democratic presidential candidates in 2000 and 2004 but one that voted for Rossi in 2004;
Utsalady, a Camano Island precinct where Bush and Gore battled to a tie in 2000, but went to Bush in 2004. A majority of voters in Utsalady voted for Rossi in 2004;
Mabana, a Camano Island precinct that went for Bush in 2000, Kerry in 2004 and Rossi for governor in 2004; and
Camano, a precinct that voted for Democratic presidential candidates in 2000 and 2004 but also voted for Rossi in 2004.
In the total number of ballots returned, South Whidbey is leading all voting areas of Island County; a total of 6,878 people have voted through Friday across the area's 15 precincts.
The Oak Harbor-area is second, with 6,627 ballots validated for counting by county elections workers through Friday.
Voters in North Whidbey's nine precincts have returned 5,853 ballots that have been validated for counting through Oct. 31.
In the Central area, a total of 4,421 ballots have been returned and validated for counting.
A total of 6,102 valid ballots from Camano Island, which has 10 precincts, have been returned.
Turnout on South Whidbey is currently ranging from a low of 52 percent in Maxwelton to a high of 66 percent in Langley 2. South Whidbey has 15 precincts and 11,692 active voters.
Turnout on North Whidbey is ranging from a low of 42 percent in Ault, to a high of 67 percent in Polnell. North Whidbey has nine precincts and 5,853 active voters.
The turnout for Central Whidbey is ranging from a low of 57 percent in San de Fuca to a high of 65 percent in Greenbank. The Central area has nine precincts and 6,914 active voters.
On Camano Island, turnout is ranging from a low of 49 percent in Livingston Bay to a high of 60 percent in Triangle Cove. Camano Island has 10 precincts and 10,900 active voters.
Overall, more people in Island County have already voted than the number who voted in the February presidential primary.
Through Friday, valid ballots have been returned by 56 percent of the county's active voters. County election officials expect this year's turnout to rival the 89.4 percent turnout of the 2004 general election.