Voting in conservation district election ends March 15

March 8, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The clock is ticking for King Conservation District voters to cast ballots online in the contest for a vacant board seat.

Voters started to cast e-ballots in the supervisor race Feb. 15. The online voting period runs through March 15. Voters can also cast ballots in person at the district office March 15.

The conservation district is the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and for providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

Candidates Kent farmer Bruce Elliott, Redmond real estate agent Teri Herrera, Duvall farmer Eric Nelson and Sammamish retiree Preston Prudente seek the volunteer position.

Elliott said he aims to balance environmental science and property rights. Herrera, a district Citizen Advisory Committee, said she intends to foster partnership among the district, landowners and other agencies. Nelson said he understands the district from a farmer’s perspective. Prudente said he intends to improve the district’s infrastructure and ability to assist landowners.

The election is open to registered voters in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County, except for Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish — cities outside the district.

King County Elections does not administer district elections.

Rather, the district has retained Bellevue-based Election Trust to coordinate the e-balloting. The company has managed past district elections at traditional polling places, such as the Issaquah Library. The secure voting platform, Scytl Pnyx eVoting, has been successfully deployed for United States overseas and military voters since 2008.

“The technology behind this election is proven and secure, and we believe it offers the best option for expanding voter participation in our elections,” board Chairman Bill Knutsen said in a release.

The all-volunteer board includes three elected members and a pair of supervisors appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission. Both elected and appointed supervisors serve three-year terms.

Landowners fund the district through a $10-per-parcel assessment fee. Though the district receives some funding from the state conservation commission — plus King County, state and federal grants — state legislators do not allocate dollars to the agency.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

How to vote in the King Conservation District election

King Conservation District voters must select a board member from a slate of five candidates.

The monthlong election period ends at 9 p.m. March 15. Voters can also cast ballots in person at the district office — 1107 S.W. Grady Way, Suite 130, Renton — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 15.

Voters must confirm eligibility by submitting a signed affidavit through e-mail, fax or postal mail. The eligibility form is available at the district website, www.kingcd.org.

Then, after eligibility is confirmed, voters receive a personal identification number via e-mail. Voters receive complete voting-access information in the same e-mail delivery.

If a voter has not received a PIN by 5 p.m. March 14, he or she must cast a ballot in person at the Renton office.

Voters without e-mail addresses can instead use addresses provided by a family member or friend. Voter eligibility is not based on a personal e-mail address. Voters without e-mail addresses or computer access can cast ballots in person.

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