Friday is the beginning of the 18-day voting period for this year's November General Election in Washington state. 

It's also the day county auditors must mail ballots to each voter. 

Trends show voter turnout in odd years such as 2023 can be 30 to 40 percent below turnout in even years. 

Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore says the drop-off is the result of a sharp decline from the hype in even numbered years that feature congressional and presidential races. 

"It's on television," said Moore. "It's in peoples' social media feeds, all over the place. In odd years when we're dealing with local races, that type of advertising or just plain political noise isn't as abundant." 

Moore thinks residents skipping this year's local races and issues are missing the opportunity to vote in elections that have the greatest direct impact on their lives. 

“These are the people that are setting your local taxes,” Moore said. “They’re determining what your water rates are, what your sewage rates are, and in some cases what it costs to use a cemetery.” 

County auditors will mail out ballots Friday for the mail in voting period in Washington that ends on election day, November 7. 

The turnout for odd numbered years in Chelan County is typically 47-48 percent compared to even numbered years that can reach 70 percent, or even 85 percent in presidential years. 

Moore thinks this year’s general election turnout in Chelan County could spike up to 55-60 percent, with numerous city council and school board positions in play. There are also contested mayor’s races in Wenatchee, Chelan and Leavenworth. 

The 2020 general election, which featured the presidential contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump drew an 86.2 percent turnout in Chelan County and 83.8 percent in Douglas County. 

In the odd year 2021 election, Chelan County had a 47.2 percent turnout while Douglas County drew 38.5 percent. 

The 2022 election, which featured congressional races, saw a 67.8 percent turnout in Chelan County and 62.3 percent in Douglas County. 

In-person registration and voting can be done through election day in Washington. 

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