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Election officials aim for increased millennial turnout as primary deadline looms

Election officials are hoping to see improved numbers from millennial voters when the polls close for the Primary Election Tuesday night. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE – Election officials are hoping to see improved numbers from millennial voters when the polls close for the Primary Election Tuesday night.

In 2015, just 7.5 percent of 18-24 year-olds voted in the local elections.

Last month, King County Elections and the Seattle Foundation teamed up to provide 30 local organizations with more than $435,000 to improve voter engagement.

Washington Bus, located in Pioneer Square, received about $18,000.

“We know that when more people take action and vote in our elections, good things happen, especially when young people get involved, and that’s what we’re up to,” said Chris Esh, Program Director at Washington Bus.

The team of ten people have sent more than 1,200 text messages to remind people to vote.

“Ninety percent of the folks that receive a text message will read it,” Esh added.

Officials hope these efforts will increase the expected lower turnout for Tuesday’s primary elections.

King County Elections initially projected 38 percent of registered voters to cast their ballot.

By midday Tuesday, officials were adjusting that number to closer to 36 percent.

“People are on vacation,” said King County Elections Director Julie Wise.

“It’s just a hard election day to just get people out to vote. It’s also the primary.

In Snohomish and Pierce County, officials expect to see 16.9 percent and 15.17 percent, respectively. This compares to 22.91 percent and 16.41 percent in the 2015 primary elections.

Voters have until 8:00 p.m. to submit their ballots.

Officials say they hope to have their first unofficial results available at 8:30 p.m.

Official results will be certified August 15.

Only the top two vote-getters from the primary elections will be included in the November general election.

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