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Younger voters, women make up bulk of new registered voters in Washington state, 23rd District

Most of the newly registered voters in Washington state since the 2012 Primary are 30 years old or younger. - Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review
Most of the newly registered voters in Washington state since the 2012 Primary are 30 years old or younger.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review

Nearly half of the voters in Washington who registered or reregistered to vote after the August 2012 Primary are 30 years old or younger, according to an analysis of newly registered voters by the Bainbridge Island Review.

Officials with the Elections Division of Office of the Secretary of State released demographic breakdowns late last week of voters who registered online or by mail after the primary election. Those numbers also include not only new voters in Washington state, but voters who have moved to another county and registered to vote with their new address.

Roughly 202,100 new registrations have been logged since the primary.

A review of those numbers shows that nearly half — or almost 97,500 voters — are 30 or younger.

Younger voters are a crucial voter block for many candidates this election season, but their value varies depending on the particular race on the ballot.

In the presidential race, for example, a recent KCTS9 Washington Poll found that 71.2 percent of voters in the 18-29 bracket favored President Barack Obama for president, while 21.6 favored former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (1.9 percent were undecided).

Voters 18-29 also wanted Democrat Sen. Maria Cantwell to serve another term in the U.S. Senate over Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner, 54.2 percent to 22.6 percent (23.1 percent undecided) in the KCTS9 Washington Poll.

In the race for governor, slightly more voters in the 18-29 bracket leaned toward Republican Rob McKenna, with 43.3 percent, rather than toward Democrat Jay Inslee, with 42.6 percent, according to the poll.

Young voters 18-29 in that poll also were highly in favor of Initiative 1240, the charter school proposition, 61.2 percent; Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization proposal, 74.8 percent; and Referendum 74, the vote to allow same-sex marriages, 70.5 percent.

The next largest group of newly registered voters in the state are voters in the 31-40 age category. A total of 35,630 voters in that age group have registered since the primary.

According to the state Elections Division, Kitsap County has had more than 6,700 new registrations since the August primary.

More than half — 3,846 — have been in the 23rd Legislative District, which includes Bainbridge Island. Women make up more than half, 51.6 percent, of the new registrations.

That's slightly higher than the gender breakdown of new registrations statewide since the primary.

Approximately 51.1 percent of new registered voters in Washington are women, according to the Elections Division.

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