Ballots for August primary to reach voters soon

July 10, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Ballots should start to arrive in King County voters’ mailboxes in the days ahead.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

In the 5th Legislative District, voters must narrow the field of Republican Chad Magendanz, Democrat David Spring and independent candidate Ryan Burkett in the race for a state House of Representatives seat.

The district includes half of Issaquah and large portions of East King County.

Register to vote

Though the deadline to register to vote online or by mail for the Aug. 7 primary election passed July 9, voters can register in person to vote in the election at King County Elections, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton, on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Voters can check to make sure if registration information is current by using My Voter Guide at https://your.kingcounty.gov/elections/voterlookup.aspx, by calling the Voter Hotline at 206-296-VOTE or by visiting the elections office.

In order to register as a Washington voter, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a Washington resident, at least 18 by Election Day and not under the authority of the state Department of Corrections.

In Washington, voters do not register by political party or declare political party membership to vote in primary or general elections.

Coming soon

Read about the local connection to Proposition 1, a $200 million King County property tax levy to fund a juvenile justice center, in The Issaquah Press on July 18.

Expect to see statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and other positions, too.

The field of candidates for U.S. senator and U.S. representative also appears on the August ballot.

The primary decides the election for state Supreme Court justice if a candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote.

The ballot also contains a King County property tax measure, Proposition 1.

King County Council members placed a $200 million property tax levy on the ballot to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The facility is a collection of decaying buildings. Officials said the electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling infrastructure is beyond repair.

If the nine-year levy passes, homeowners should pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000.

In 2010, voters rejected a broader sales tax package meant to raise dollars for criminal justice services and replace the Youth Services Center.

Post-Census 2010 redistricting also means some changes for voters.

In May, county elections officials sent updated voter registration cards to residents. The cards identify a voter’s precinct, and congressional, legislative and King County Council districts.

The redistricting last year affected more than 600,000 of the 1.1 million registered voters in the county.

State redistricting commissioners divided Issaquah between the 5th and 41st legislative districts to determine representation in Olympia. Commissioners kept the city in a reshaped 8th Congressional District for federal representation.

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

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