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Published: Thursday, November 3, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

A fraction of those registered to vote will bother

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    Click to enlarge

A lot of people who are old enough to vote don't. As a result, only a sliver of the Snohomish County population will choose the next county executive and help decide whether the state stays in the business of selling hard liquor, among other races and issues.

Democratic County Executive Aaron Reardon and Republican challenger Mike Hope are no doubt trying to figure out who will vote in Tuesday's election and how many will mail in ballots. Looking at what happened in the general election of 2007 might be instructive.

That was fairly typical for an election in an "off year" -- no federal offices up for grabs but plenty of local races and a turnout of 51.1 percent. Reardon faced Republican Jack Turk and won easily with a vote total representing a mere 31 percent of those registered at the time.

As you can see from the chart below, votes are not cast equally by age group. In 2007, those in their 50s voted more than any other bloc, and those in their 20s voted least. It's a good bet they will again this year.

Sources: Washington Office of Financial Management and Snohomish County Elections
Story tags » Elections

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