Sherril Huff wins elections chief race
March 2, 2009
Sherril Huff, the appointed incumbent, easily outdistanced a field of six candidates in the Feb. 3 race to fill the first-ever elected post of King County elections director.“I am ecstatic for the opportunity to continue to serve the voters of King County,” Huff said in a statement. “Although this position is now elected, the priorities of our division remain the same. We will strive to ensure secure and accountable elections by continuing to review our processes to improve accuracy and efficiency.”
The county continues to work toward countywide all-mail voting. Several features of the vote-by-mail system were implemented for the February election, including 10 ballot drop boxes throughout the county, three accessible voting centers and online mail ballot tracking.
“In addition to the work being done in our office, it is essential that voters are knowledgeable and prepared for all-mail voting,” Huff said.
Huff had 46 percent of the vote, followed by former Metropolitan King County Councilman David Irons, of Sammamish, with 19 percent, and state Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn) with 16 percent. Former banking industry manager Bill Anderson had 8 percent, followed by former Elections Superintendent Julie Kempf with 6 percent, and high school teacher Christopher Clifford with 4 percent.
About 250,000 people cast ballots in the election, roughly 22 percent of the county’s 1.18 million registered voters. The election results were certified Feb. 18.
In November, voters approved an amendment to the King County Charter calling for the election of the county’s top elections official. Previously, the county executive appointed the division leader.
The elections director oversees a permanent staff of 60 and an annual budget of about $20 million. The job pays $146,000 a year.