WASHINGTON — The executive director of the District of Columbia Board of Elections is projecting 40 percent turnout for next week’s election.

That would represent a major increase over the April primary. Just 27 percent of eligible voters turned out for the race that typically decides the mayoral election in the heavily Democratic District.

But elections director Clifford Tatum predicted Wednesday that a ballot question on legalizing marijuana and the District’s first-ever election for attorney general will drive more voters to the polls next week. The mayoral general election is also more competitive than usual, with two well-known independents challenging Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser.

Tatum concedes that he doesn’t want to underestimate turnout because the board uses its projections to determine how many election workers are needed.


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