King County Elections predicts 38 percent turnout in February election

February 7, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

King County Elections mailed 186,500 ballots for a half dozen special districts late last month, and officials expect voters to return almost 71,000 ballots in the Feb. 14 election.

In the Issaquah area, Fire District 10 officials asked citizens to decide on a $5.5 million bond to fund a fire station replacement and other capital projects. The district — a partner in Eastside Fire & Rescue — includes Klahanie, May Valley, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

Fire District 10 officials said a fire station built in May Valley could improve response times for rural residents and alleviate the workload for Fire Station 71 along East Sunset Way in downtown Issaquah — a station responsible for serving many neighborhoods inside city limits.

The district joins a handful of school districts elsewhere in placing a measure before the electorate in the special election.

Combined, “we project a turnout of 38 percent for this election,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “Special elections typically have a smaller turnout, however, the decisions being made address important issues in communities. We encourage voters to take the time to vote.”

Officials said about 18,000 voters returned ballots during the initial week of voting.

Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, is a ballot drop box location. The deadline to return a ballot to a drop box is 8 p.m. Feb. 14. If a voter decides to submit a ballot by mail instead, the ballot must be postmarked by the same day.

If a voter has lost or misplaced a ballot, he or she should contact the elections office ASAP for information about voting options. Call the voter hotline at 206-296-8683.

Officials also opened a polling location for disabled voters — or accessible voting center — at the elections office, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton.

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